LISTEN: This Alligator Growling Video Is the Stuff of Nightmares

by Emily Morgan

If you needed another reason to fear alligators, we’ve got it right here. Recently, an alligator enthusiast posted a clip of a growling alligator, leaving us with our jaws open.

After the video was posted, users in the comments couldn’t believe their ears after seeing the gator let out the howl. “Camera man, what!?” someone asked in the comments, appearing to be amazed that the user who posted the original clip got so close to the beast.

According to alligator experts, the creatures have no vocal chords, so the growl is a sound made when the gator sucks air into their lungs and blows it out to produce thunderous, deep-toned roars. It is used to show dominance, territorialism and to attract potential mates.

Recently, a Florida woman had a not-so-nice experience with an alligator over the Labor Day weekend.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the 77-year-old woman was strolling past a pond just before 6 p.m. in Bradenton when the alligator came out of the water and attacked her.

The woman was later taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries, wildlife commission spokeswoman Tammy Sapp said.

According to officials, someone who witnessed the attack kept an eye on the reptile until a wildlife official removed the 7-foot-10-inch-long alligator. As of Tuesday, the woman was recovering from the gator bite, Sapp said.

Why we’re seeing an uptick in alligator attacks

In a similar incident last month, a woman was killed in an attack in a gated community in South Carolina. When sheriff deputies arrived on the scene, a giant alligator was found by the woman’s body. Before that, in July, two of the creatures killed a woman at a pond in Sarasota County, Florida.

For the last several months, there’s been an uptick in alligator attacks, leaving wildlife officials scratching their heads.

If four deaths from alligator attacks in 76 days might seem high to you, that’s because it is: that’s one death every 19 days.

According to the University of Florida, only about four percent of alligator attacks in the U.S. are fatal. However, if you apply that statistic to this summer, that means about 96 other people should have been attacked by a gator and survived.

Today, Florida residents have dealt with an average of just eight unprovoked gator bites per year over the ten years. This also equates to one attack every six and a half weeks, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. South Carolina has seen 21 incidents yearly since 2000, or fewer than one.

According to alligator expert Kimberly Andrews, one reason we’ve seen an uptick in gator attacks is the growing human population.

“The biggest thing that is changing is the accelerated cohabitation of people and alligators,” Andrews said. “People like to be around water. This is part of our nature. It’s calming. And that’s also where alligators are at. So the same habitats that are appealing to alligators are also very appealing to people and real estate.”