After Labor Day passes we concentrate on cleaning up all of our alligator habitats. A few of our alligator habitats are unfortunately frequently visited by people who not only illegally feed the alligators, they also throw their trash at them. We were pleasantly surprised that this year these habitats weren’t nearly as dirty as they’ve been in years past. We hope this means that people are finally getting the message that it is illegal to feed alligators.
If you’ve followed our story, you know by now that we don’t live in Brunswick County, but we do operate our organization out of Brunswick County. Even though we don’t live there, we are frequent visitors and consider it our second home. Between the months of March and October we are there at least every other week, because that’s when the alligators are active. Our favorite times of the year are before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, because it isn’t nearly as crowded. From March through Memorial Day and Labor Day through October we stay by the week. From Memorial Day through Labor Day our visits our much shorter, usually a 2-3 day visit.
We were there last week and even though Labor Day was behind us, we still saw crowds of people and the temperatures were very hot. We were cleaning up alligator habitats and picking up trash along one of our Adopt-A-Highway roads in 90+ degree temps. We saw a lot of our regular alligators, the ones who stay in their same habitats year after year. We are happy to report that we didn’t notice any injuries to any of our alligators this year. It is normal for us to see bite marks and skinned places on alligators, as well as missing limbs and toes, especially on the males who constantly fight for food and mates.
As our week drew to a close, we started hearing more and more about Hurricane Florence. When we left on Sunday we saw several people on Oak Island and in Southport boarding up businesses and homes. It made us realize that life on the coast isn’t always “fun in the sun.” Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is preparing for this catastrophic event.
One thing we noticed last week was that nearly all of our alligators were present and accounted for. But as the weekend drew closer, we started seeing less and less of them. By Saturday the numbers had really dwindled. By Sunday all of the alligators were gone. Was this just a coincidence or can they sense the approach of Hurricane Florence? It makes perfect sense to us since alligators have survived for millions and millions of years. They are very smart and have superb survival instincts. Another reason we consider them our last living dinosaurs.
We talked to so many people last week as we were out cleaning habitats. We always wear Alligator Alliance t-shirts and several people recognized us from our two magazine articles that came out in July (North Brunswick Magazine and Carolina Country Magazine). Our website continues to have a record number of visitors each and every day. We had 70,000+ new visitors in July, as well as 40,000+ new visitors in August! The e-mails are also still pouring in, as well as more offers of donations and Go-Fund-Me accounts. We are so very thankful for the outpouring of support that you all have shown our little organization!
And last, but not least … I am very fortunate that one of my best friends lives full time on Oak Island and has given me an open invitation to her home when I’m having “separation anxiety” from my gators. This summer I experienced an unusually high amount of “separation anxiety” (LOL)! THANKS KIM! YOU’RE THE BEST!!!