Experts say spotting a 7-ft alligator in Fayette County is ‘not uncommon’

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency has recently reported sightings of a 7-foot alligator in West Tennessee. Captivating photos of this impressive creature quickly spread across social media, leaving people puzzled about its presence in this region.

Officers in Fayette County responded to a call about the animal and proceeded to assess the situation without taking any immediate action. Since the alligator did not pose a direct threat to humans, they opted not to disturb it. However, it is noteworthy that there are a few alligators present in West Tennessee, which adds an interesting aspect to the situation. It is worth mentioning that Mississippi is home to a sizeable population of alligators that can be legally hunted.

The Gulf-bordering southern states have significant population numbers, and as these populations grow, the TWRA predicts that they will gradually reclaim their original habitats. As their range expands, they will eventually begin to move.

According to TWRA Representative Barry Cross, it will take a considerable amount of time for alligators to reclaim their home range. While larger alligators, like the one spotted in Fayette County, can tolerate colder temperatures and survive through the winter, younger alligators face more challenges. The cold winters are particularly difficult for the new young of the year, making it hard for them to move northward.

Historically, alligators have been known to inhabit their home range in West Tennessee. In fact, there have been documented sightings of alligators as far north as St. Louis along the Mississippi River, so they are not entirely unfamiliar to this region. If you happen to come across an alligator and it is not causing any harm or posing a threat to anyone, it is best to simply leave it alone. However, it is recommended to contact the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to report the sighting. They will then dispatch a team to investigate and ensure the safety of both the alligator and the surrounding community.

In Tennessee, it is against the law to kill alligators since they are a protected species.

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MBS Staff
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