An area in South Carolina called Alligator Alley on November 7 when Austin Bond, a nature photographer, biked through the area.
The spot is located in Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet. The man came across a crowd gathering on Straight Road, where the infamous alley is located. Bond had previously recorded footage of an alligator in the exact same spot, so he knew why the crowd was gathered.
“When they see an alligator, they stop and watch, “Bond said. “He was just kind of lying by the ground on the sidewalk, and I just happened to hit record when he decided to get up, walk across to the other side and rest again.”
You can watch his recorded footage below.
State wildlife officials estimate South Carolina is home to about 100,000 alligators. Officials say most of these gators aren’t strangers to human interaction.
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, there have been 23 non-fatal encounters between people and alligators between 1973 and 2020.
Alligator and Human Interactions Have Increased in Recent Years
This year, the creatures have been responsible for two deaths. The first one occurred at the Myrtle Beach Golf and Yacht Club in June. Then, in August, when an 88-year-old Beaufort County woman was attacked while gardening and succumbed to her injuries.
The University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory says staying safe around them remains a “straightforward” task.
First, avoid feeding alligators at all costs. Feeding gators makes them bolder around humans. It also encourages them to seek out people, increasing the possibility of an attack. Moreover, pets should always be kept away from them.
It’s also important not to corner them for a photograph. Bond claimed the alligator on Monday showed no signs of aggression toward passersby. Bond claimed it made one deep grumble for cyclists who it may have felt got too close, but it was fine other than that.
Alligators are active when temperatures are between 82 degrees and 92 degrees, so they’re more common in summer months.
The high temperature in Murrells Inlet was just below 80 degrees on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. “I was very surprised to see him fully up out of the water when I came up on him today,” Bond said.
American alligators are found in the southeast United States. They’re found in all of Florida and Louisiana; the southern parts of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi; coastal South and North Carolina; East Texas, the southeast corner of Oklahoma, and the southern tip of Arkansas.
Louisiana contains the largest alligator population. The majority of American alligators inhabit Florida and Louisiana, with over a million alligators in each state. However, southern Florida remains the only place where both alligators and crocodiles live side by side.