Feeding, harassing or harming alligators is illegal in North Carolina

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4-NN-Alligator-picEASTERN NORTH CAROLINA -The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding people that feeding or harassing alligators is illegal in North Carolina, as is alligator hunting or otherwise killing an alligator.

Alligators are fairly common in some eastern areas of the state and sightings can be frequent during warmer months.

“If you encounter a gator, please give it plenty of space,” said Sgt. Charles Smith, a wildlife officer stationed in Onslow County. “Leave it alone. Do not approach it or follow it. If you go away, chances are it will go away.”

Alligators are usually shy and secretive. Alligators typically do not stay in one area for an extended period of time. They move considerable distances and will eventually leave on their own.

“Residents may unintentionally provide easy food sources for alligators when they feed other wild animals, such as ducks and geese,” said Jonathan Shaw, a wildlife biologist with the Commission. “Intentional or unintentional feeding can cause an alligator to lose its natural fear of people, making it more likely to approach someone and cause problems.”

Only authorized wildlife biologists and wildlife officers can remove problem alligators. In most instances, it is not necessary to do anything other than leave an alligator alone. To report an alligator problem, wildlife harassment or other violation, call 1-800-662-7137.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities.