We absolutely LOVE springtime! We love it when the temps start getting warmer, because that’s when we get to check on our favorite alligators and see how they made it through another winter. Springtime certainly took its time getting here this year. There is nothing like spending several days in Brunswick County to lift our spirits and put a smile on our faces.
Our trip last week was two-fold. Part business, part pleasure. We were contacted a few weeks ago by Allison Carter, Managing Editor, from North Brunswick Magazine. They wanted to do a Feature Article about Alligator Alliance that will run in an upcoming summer issue! We were thrilled to hear from them, because they publish a beautiful magazine that is available all over Brunswick County. We were able to do the interview in a series of phone calls with writer Emily Hatch. THANK YOU EMILY! The magazine wanted us to do a photo shoot as well.
We met Laura Glantz (of Laura Glantz Design & Photo) at one of our favorite alligator habitats in Brunswick County last Thursday (March 29th). We have never done a photo shoot before and Laura was such a pleasure to work with! She put us right at ease. We talked for a while about Alligator Alliance and gave her some background info about what we do and why we love alligators so much. After only a few minutes of knowing Laura, we felt like we’d made a friend for life! She not only did a great job, she was really interested in every aspect of what we do and why we feel it is so important to protect our alligator population. By the time our photo shoot was over, we knew we had another alligator enthusiast on our side! THANK YOU LAURA (please see our “Fun Stuff & Links” page for her contact info)!
We also met with our realtor (Shelly Vaughan Morrow of Cronick & Associates Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage). Shelly has been diligently working with us this year to help us find acreage to build our new home on. We have a long list of things we do and don’t want, but she was more than willing to take on the challenge. We explained to her what our long term goals are, not only for us, but for Alligator Alliance and she didn’t bat an eye. In fact, she said “I’M ON IT!” We are closer than ever to making our dreams come true of living in the B.C. (how we refer to Brunswick County)! THANK YOU SHELLY (please see our “Fun Stuff & Links” page for her contact info)!
In between taking care of business last week and doing our photo shoot, we spent some time doing what we love best. Being on GATOR PATROL! A lot of our alligators are in ponds on private property and we are very lucky that we have permission to visit them whenever we want to. As I have mentioned before in other blogs, some of the gators we see, we see only once and then never again. Our favorite gators are the ones who return year after year to their same habitats.
Jax is one of our “regulars” and also one of our favorites. We’ve seen him grow from a juvenile to a sub-adult. We got some really good photos of him, doing what gators do best … basking in the sun. We approached his habitat slowly and observed him with “gator goggles” (binoculars). I stayed to the left of Jax, while JC approached him from the right to try and get some good pics. One of the things we love the most about Jax is that he is truly a wild alligator. Some of our gators are “food conditioned” (illegally fed by humans) and they don’t flee when they see us. They actually come toward us, thinking they’re going to get a free hand out.
Alligators have excellent hearing, both in and out of water. Jax was lying on the bank (maxing and relaxing LOL) and JC was taking pics, when all of a sudden Jax exploded and returned to the water. The shutter clicking on JC’s camera had scared him. Jax was literally there on the bank one second and in the blink of an eye, the water was swirling and flying and he was gone. That’s how fast an alligator is. Jax is the type of gator we love to see. One who isn’t “food conditioned” and is very afraid of humans … a wild gator.
We also saw Neo, who is another one of our sub-adult “regulars” and he is a wild gator. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a good photo of Neo this time. He was very far off, towards the back of his habitat in a wooded area. We know where to look for him (all gators have their own favorite basking spots) and we were able to observe him with binoculars.
Lil Renee is a juvenile we’ve been seeing for a couple of years. She is fast becoming a
sub-adult. She is also a wild alligator. We were happy to see her in her same habitat and
we got a few good pics of her.
There are only two of us and we can’t be everywhere at once, so we have to visit habitats in a certain order. We also try to check out new areas along the way. We get so excited when we find a new habitat with a new gator in it! We are introducing Cadence, a beautiful juvenile, on our “Meet The Gators” page.
We cleaned a few habitats last week as well and didn’t see any major issues. We did a final clean up last October and November and then rechecked them in January. They usually remain in decent condition from October until warmer weather (and tourist season) arrives.
Which brings me to this reminder … please don’t feed the alligators (or any wildlife). It is illegal to intentionally feed an alligator in NC and it carries a fine of up to $500. And please don’t throw trash at them. It not only looks bad, it is dangerous for the alligators and all other wildlife.
One more thing I want to mention. As you’ve probably heard by now, NC will have its first alligator hunting season September 1st - October 1st (you can read more about it in my previous blog dated March 5th). It will be the first time NC has allowed alligator hunting since 1973. We haven’t gotten a response back from NCWRC or Allen Boynton as to how many permits they will be issuing, but we’ve heard it’s going to be on a very limited basis.
We were thrilled to recently hear that the town of Belville NC has banned alligator hunting. Star News reported that Belville passed a resolution on March 18th which rejects the option to allow alligator hunting. They also quoted Commissioner Joe Breault as saying that town Commissioners came to an agreement after expressing concern that hunting female alligators could lead to a decline in the overall gator population. Kudos to Belville! You can read the entire article at:
We continue to hear rumors that Oak Island, Bald Head Island and Southport will be following in Belvilles’ footsteps and ban alligator hunting as well. If you live in any of these cities, PLEASE let your elected officials know that you are against alligator hunting! Remember, ONE person CAN make a difference!
Thanks to everyone who has contacted us recently about the hunting season. Our website had over 3000 views in just two weeks after it was announced! Thanks again to Allison Carter and Emily Hatch at North Brunswick Magazine and to Laura Glantz (from Laura Glantz Design & Photo - lauraglantz.com)! We can’t wait to read the article about
Alligator Alliance and see the pictures. We appreciate the magazine helping to get the
word out about us.
We hope everyone has a great spring! Be safe! Please remember that ANY body of water in the eastern part of NC has the potential to have an alligator in it. If you see an alligator, keep your distance. Leave it alone. Do not approach it. Do not feed or harass it. Keep your children and your pets away from them. The smaller the prey, the easier it is for the alligator to take. To an alligator a dog resembles a deer and a cat resembles a raccoon.
If you have a photo or video of an alligator that you’d like to share with us, please e-mail it to us! We’ll put it on our website and give you credit for it! If you know of an alligator that you’d like to tell us about so we can go see it, just let us know. We are always happy to check out new habitats. One thing I particularly like hearing is what other people name alligators that they see. I’ve met a lot of people in the past few years and I love the fact that I’m not the only one who names them.
Thank you again for your continued support of Alligator Alliance!