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kiawah island and alligators

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Brookville, Indiana
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kiawah island and alligators

i'm starting to get freaked out about our trip to the island, it looks like there are a lot of alligators there. has anyone ever had any problems? it feels unsafe for the kids, i don't want anyone to get eaten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Charleston, SC
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1. Re: kiawah island and alligators

Hardly anyone has gotten eaten this week.

Haha - just kidding - as with any freshwater ponds in the Lowcountry, there is one rule to follow - assume there are alligators. That comes with a few guidelines - no swimming in ponds; be careful when fishing and boating; and alligators move faster on land than in water. Oh, and if you see what you think is a "cast iron" alligator statue, it probably isn't. They can stay still for a long, long time.

You should also know that Lowcountry residents do not tolerate alligators above say, 6 feet in length. Animal control is called out and the animals are taken away - mainly because at 6 feet their greater food requirements means that the pond fish would otherwise be depleted.

Saltwater areas are alligator-free (or - so rare it's not even worth calculating).

No need to freak out - except for the guy on Hilton Head last year who I think was retrieving his golf ball from a pond, most people have gone back home with limbs intact. Do exercise caution with small kids and pets, but gators are not lurking in shrubbery or anything - they're usually pretty easy to spot..

Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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2. Re: kiawah island and alligators

We actually do have gators on Kiawah much larger than 6 feet. They live in brackish ponds and lagoons. In hot weather, they hunker down in the mud near the banks to stay cool. In cooler weather, they bask in the sun on golf courses and on the banks of the ponds to warm up. They do not wander around the island other than, very occasionally, to migrate pond-to-pond. They are loners, who will not disturb you ... and do not wish to be disturbed by you.

It is a great idea to read some information about the alligators before you go to Kiawah. Be sure to visit the Nature Center (on the Night Heron Pond deck), and to take an "Alligator Walk" with a naturalist guide.

Our children have been vacationing with us on Kiawah since they were babies. We have never had a bad experience with an alligator. It is important to understand that the gators are wild animals ... no matter how still and sleepy they might appear.

Edited: 04 August 2010, 20:46
Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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3. Re: kiawah island and alligators

Here is useful information from the Town of Kiawah Island:

kiawahisland.org/Wildlife/AmericanAlligator.…

Fayetteville...
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for Seabrook Island
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4. Re: kiawah island and alligators

There seems to be much concern about alligators this summer. I can't remember there ever being this many questions about gators on TA.

Did I miss a big news story on "the attack of the gators?"

Seriously, alligators are found throughout many states in the lower USA. Use common sense--don't go wading into ponds or brackish waters.

Around Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, many of the ponds and lagoons are located in and around golf courses. Needless to say, do go trying to retrieve your ball from the pond/lagoon. Take your penalty stroke and drop a new ball.

During my three week visit to Seabrook this summer, I don't recall seeing one gator. Now my golfer family members did:-)

Brookville, Indiana
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5. Re: kiawah island and alligators

don't worry were not going to go wading in any ponds and we have no intention on trying to touch any gators. i'm just invisioning the kids riding to the beach, falling off their bike and a gator jumping out to eat them, or at least a limb. i read a story about nuisence gators having to be removed, aligators that people find UNDER THEIR CARS, in their pool area. totally uncool! i really don't know why i'm so freaked out, but i'm going away to relax so i guess i'd better get over it or go somewhere else!

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6. Re: kiawah island and alligators

No need to worry. My family has been vacationing on Kiawah for 25 years and we love to watch the alligators. They are amazing, but you must respect them. Do not walk near the edge of a pond. Stay on the bike trails. When you walk over a foot bridge, stop and look for an alligator in the lagoon. One thing I've learned - always carry your camera. You will enjoy taking photos of all the wildlife on Kiawah - alligators included.

Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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7. Re: kiawah island and alligators

The alligators feed on fish, birds, and small animals in and on the banks of the ponds and lagoons where they live. Alligators do not naturally prey on humans, and they do not hunt for food on dry land. They also don't jump!

I would never stick a toe or a finger into a pond on Kiawah; but the bike paths, the beach, the salt water Kiawah River, and Kiawah's dry open spaces are safe for you and for your kids.

Saint Paul...
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8. Re: kiawah island and alligators

Just got back from my first trip to Kiawah....gators were not a problem. At all. Ever. In fact, they are really fun to watch.

The only time I saw one that made me a little nervous was very early one morning (just after sunrise) there was one sunning itself right by a pond on the 17th tee of Turtle Point course - And it was a big one, its nose was over the crest of the hill and its tail was close to, if not in, the pond. At least think it was 17, it was the tee for the par three right by the boardwalk to the beach just east of The Sanctuary Hotel. Anyway, the path brought me closer than my confort range to the gator but it never moved. Heck, I walked on the beach for ~30 minutes and the dang thing still hadn't moved when I was walking back to our villa!

I'm sure I provided some comic relief to the folks sitting on the decks across the pond from the me and Mr. Gator. :-)

Have a great time, we did!!!!

Kiawah Island...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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9. Re: kiawah island and alligators

Yes, gator watching is fun on Kiawah, we are rather disappointed when we go during the times of year when the gators are more or less hibernating and there is less likelihood that we will see any!!! We love to see them out sunning themselves around the lagoons when we're out riding our bikes. In 25+ yrs. we've never had one approach us.

Remember, the gators were there long before we were and we are sharing their space.

10. Re: kiawah island and alligators

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