Alligator Alliance has been against alligator hunting in NC from day one. We have worked tirelessly to prevent a season from happening. We’ve attended numerous public meetings, as well as a few private ones. At the public meetings we stood up and spoke about why we didn’t want a hunting season (we actually spoke until they told us to sit down and give someone else a turn, LOL). We have also made phone calls, sent e-mails and directed others to the NCWRC’s website so that they too could speak out against alligator hunting.
The last time NC had an alligator hunting season was in 1973. Guess why the hunting season was cancelled after 1973? Because NC alligators were eradicated. Want to know what the definition of “eradicate” is? TO REMOVE OR UTTERLY DESTROY. It has taken over four decades for our alligator population to recover.
We operate Alligator Alliance out of Brunswick County. That is where the alligators live that we are the most familiar with. The habitats that we clean are in Brunswick County. Although we never wanted a hunting season to pass in NC, we were relieved to find out that the only county in NC that hunting will be allowed is in Hyde County. A computerized drawing (like a lottery) will award 5 permits in Swan Quarter, 5 permits in Fairfield and 10 permits in Engelhard. The permits will be valid from September 1st - October 1st in the designated areas around these communities only. Currently there are more than 400 applicants for 20 permits. Applicants who are drawn will be required to obtain an alligator hunting license by August 20th. Those who fail to purchase the license by the deadline will forfeit their chance to get a permit and an alternate applicant will be drawn. An alligator hunting license costs $250 for NC residents and $500 for non-residents. The cost for the permit will then be $8. Applicants must be 16 years or older.
Brunswick County is off the hook for 2018, but that doesn’t mean our work at Alligator Alliance is done. We are just getting started. There is no size limit or sex restrictions for the alligators that will be killed in Hyde County. If all females are killed, this will wreak havoc on their alligator population for decades to come. Without female alligators, the species will cease to exist in the future.
Male alligators in NC are thought to take 14-16 years to reach sexual maturity, while females require 18-19 years. This is longer than the amount of time required for alligators from more Southern locales. This information was taken directly from the
“NC Alligator Management Plan,” so the NCWRC is fully aware of what problems an unspecified hunting season can cause for our state.
Please help us continue to fight to keep our alligator population from going extinct. We will always post upcoming meetings on our website, so please check back often.
We are so thankful for the cover story on Alligator Alliance that North Brunswick Magazine did, as well as the features article Carolina Country Magazine did! Both magazines did an amazing job explaining what Alligator Alliance is all about.
From July 1st - July 31st our website had over 70,000 NEW visitors! We also received thousands of e-mails from people who read those articles.
Thank you so much for the outpouring of support that we have received. We’ve had so many kind offers from people willing to donate money and even one particular person wanting to donate a drone to further our research. We’ve also had numerous requests for us to set up a Go-Fund-Me account so that people could make contributions. And most surprisingly of all, we had one very nice lady offer us a guestroom and bathroom in her house ANY TIME we wanted to use it (thanks Sally)! We have been completely blown away by the generosity of strangers!
We are sorry we weren’t able to answer each and every e-mail that we received. We tried, but as soon as we answered them, our inbox would fill up again. One thing we’ve found out is that we’re not alone in our love for alligators! That makes us extremely happy!
We also had numerous requests to join our organization. We knew from day one that Alligator Alliance would never be a member driven organization. It will always have only two human members, my husband and myself. The true members of our organization are the alligators that we work so hard to protect. Our true “Alliance” is with them. That is also why we keep the location of nearly all of our alligator habitats private. We take special care in posting pictures of them that won’t show surroundings where people can guess where they are.
We’ve also had several people offer to volunteer to work with us. Alligator Alliance is a two-person team, mainly because what we do is sometimes dangerous. We clean alligator habitats. We use long, custom-made grabbers to clean habitats with, but we still have to be extremely careful and mindful of what we’re doing. We can’t just tell the alligators to run an errand while we clean their house, LOL. Several of our alligator habitats are on private property. We have agreements with the property owners not to tell anyone about the alligators. However, two good places to contact to ask if there are volunteer opportunities are The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, as well as Alligator Adventure at Myrtle Beach. Both places do amazing work with captive alligators.
From day one Alligator Alliance has been 100% self-funded and non-profit. We do what
we do because we love alligators! We have never accepted a donation. That’s why we have declined to set up a Go-Fund-Me account, even though we’ve been asked about it numerous times. Don’t get me wrong. Donations and Go-Fund-Me accounts are great. We’ve always had the opinion (where Alligator Alliance is concerned) that money sometimes muddies the waters and changes the focus of what we’re trying to accomplish. That’s not to say that we may change our minds in the future.
I do want to take this opportunity to share with you three of the most frequently asked questions that I hear!
#1) Do you watch or like the TV series “Swamp People?”
Well, let’s see, they hunt and kill alligators in every single episode, so that would be a strong NO!!!
#2) Do you eat alligator meat?
WHAT?! NO! I never have and I never will! I love alligators from the tips of their snouts to the tips of their tails.
#3) Are you afraid of alligators?
No. I do however have a healthy respect for them. I don’t feed them or harass them. I let them exist as the wild creatures they were intended to be. Even though I name each and every one of the alligators who stay in their same habitats year after year, they are not my pets. Even though I talk to them, laugh at them, spend countless hours with them (Beau) and even tell them that I love them … I know that they are apex predators and opportunistic feeders. I am extremely careful around them. I keep a safe distance. I listen to them. If they hiss at me, I know that’s a warning that I’m too close and I get even further away. A few of our alligators have nests and hatchlings. I am especially careful when I’m around them. There is nothing more protective and ferocious than a mother alligator!
I wish Alligator Alliance could save every alligator in NC. I wish we could prevent people from illegally feeding them and then throwing their trash at them. I wish we could avoid a hunting season forever. I wish every alligator could stay in its habitat, it’s HOME and never have to be relocated. Sometimes I know there is no other option for a food conditioned alligator and that it has to be relocated. I don’t like it, but it is what it is.
When I first started Alligator Alliance, I often used the phrase “Alligators Are My Passion.” I’ve seen and heard the “passion phrase” practically everywhere for the past few years and I feel that it is extremely over-used. Therefore we have removed it from our website. Alligators and their habitats have become more like an obsession with me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I feel very blessed to live in a state where we can observe alligators in their natural habitats, not just in a zoo or an aquarium. Please don’t take this blessing for granted. Speak out against hunting alligators in NC.
I will leave you with this … ONE person CAN make a difference!