We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

Which Captiva Island hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
241 posts
87 reviews
Save Topic
Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

I know there are both snakes and alligators on Sanibel (mostly in wildlife preserve). Are there any on Captiva?

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
36,277 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

yes. But neither like the beach.

Captiva Island...
Level Contributor
5,259 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

Alligators like to hang out bayside, they don't like saltwater. Chances are you won't see one. We have been visiting for years and have never seen one on Captiva. We've seen exactly 2 on Sanibel (neither one was in the preserve!). As for snakes, I have never seen one on the beach, I have seen a few tiny ones at some of the rentals we've stayed in.

You really shouldn't worry too much about encountering a snake or an alligator.

The Bakery
Level Contributor
9,526 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

Actually, only 'confused' gators go to Captiva. While gators will swim up to 200 miles in the salt water, they prefer fresh to slightly brackish water and stay on Sanibel. (In fact - I spotted a gator on the bay side of the road thru Ding Darling and pointed it out to folks on the tram. The driver gave me a hard time, but finally saw it and apologized saying it was really rare for the gators to on the bay.)

After a storm, one might end up in a pool by accident on Captiva (I know of ONE instance, but there might have been 2 or 3 on the last 30 years), but lacking the inland bodies of water, it is not a suitable habitat for them. Except maybe on the South Seas Resort Golf course. Even then, never heard of a sighting. Then again, I wouldn't chase a golf ball into a water hazard either. Snakes are everywhere, but I think in all the times I've been there, I've seen one. I see more than that around rental houses near Disney World,

Captiva Island...
Level Contributor
5,259 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

I was wondering if they swam Blind Pass or walked over the bridge! Ha!

Now that I reflect on it, I don't think I've ever heard of one on Captiva. I assumed that there might be some sightings closer to the pass where the properties border the channel.

We've seen snakes, itty bitty ones at Villa Elena, Caspian and last summer crossing the beach path near the cemetery. Boys loved them. Girls, not so much.

Captiva Island...
Level Contributor
1,331 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

The ponds at South Seas commonly have gators. I'd say I see one yearly. Here's one from June trip.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphot…

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
36,277 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

and there are *dozens* of gators at Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge.

Edited: 28 June 2013, 12:01
The Bakery
Level Contributor
9,526 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

Actually, Sanibel has a gator population estimated at about 300-350 gators, mostly due to the fact 65% of the island is protected conservation land and there are numerous small lakes and ponds for them to live in. The habitat on Captiva is missing that, especially the ponds, except on the SSR golf course.

Snakes, of course, are far less picky about where they live and there's plenty of habitat for them. I've also had otters come to the porch looking for a handout when I cooked shrimp. :-)

st. albans
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

November 2011 we were staying at the Pitha Home on Captiva and my brother lost one of his favorite fishing lures. He went in the Roosevelt Channel to retrieve it and I told him there were gators in there. My cousin who lives n Clearwater said no way and I said yes way..there are pictures up at the house of gators and guests have wrote about seeing a gator.. she said no way, they don't like salt water. Well, the next night my brother and husband were fishing and thy saw two eyes and kept watching and sure enough it was a gator.. he came right up to the boat dock and we have pictures of him looking like he was going to climb the dock. lol. it was funny. Needless to say, my brother did not go in after any more lures!!!!

The Bakery
Level Contributor
9,526 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

Here is some gator trivia for you. Apparently gators can get a irritation on their hide and swimming in fresh water does not relieve it, so they head to salt water. Some friends of mine were staying with their young children at the Sundial. Suddenly, everyone was getting out of the water. Expecting to see a shark fin, my fried asks what's up? There were 4 gators out in the Gulf just swimming around. They did it every day, about the same time, then went away. That's when he learned about the hide issue.

As for their willingness to swim distances, a Sanibel gator was relocated deep in the Everglades. It was back on the island in less than 6 months. Regardless of where he entered the water, it was a long salt water swim. Animal relocation, be ir bear or gator, are often unsuccessful.

Gators won't find hospitable habitat on Captiva, except up in the South Seas golf course, but they will visit.

Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
241 posts
87 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Snakes or alligators on Captiva?

Well, we just got back from our vacation on Captiva and we didn't encounter any gators but I did see a large rat snake (~5 feet) stretched out on a tree limb. It obviously had just had breakfast as there was a bulge in its belly! Some people passing by said it was a rat snake and that it had just eaten a rat. I didn't know there were any rats on Captiva. But I guess rats can show up anywhere. What I can't figure out is how the snake was able to swallow the rat. It's body was around 2" thick but its head was much smaller. And the bulge in its belly was about 3 inches. Must have disconnected jaws I guess.

We also didn't see any alligators on Sanibel. In our cottage there was a book about alligator, shark, and panther attacks in Florida. I was surprised that quite a few of the attack stories occured on Sanibel. Always near the water. Next time we're in town I'd like to visit conservation place near the river. I bet I'll see an alligator there!