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Robins Air Force Base offers tips for coexisting with alligators on base

Deputy wrestles alligator back into the swamp

Bibb County sheriff’s deputy Clay Williams wrestled with an alligator early on April 24, 2017, when the reptile was found on the walking track near the ballfields at Central City Park. Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare helped return the gator to th
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Bibb County sheriff’s deputy Clay Williams wrestled with an alligator early on April 24, 2017, when the reptile was found on the walking track near the ballfields at Central City Park. Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare helped return the gator to th

Robins Air Force Base is offering some tips on Facebook for coexisting with alligators common in bodies of water on the military installation.

According to the base Facebook post, alligators have a natural fear of people, and most of the time, can coexist on base with people without threat.

But a signal that something is seriously amiss is if an alligator seems interested in, or approaches people unprovoked.

“This animal is dangerous and you need to get away immediately,” the post warns.

Keep dogs and cats away from waters known to have alligators, whether it’s for the pets to exercise, swim or drink, the post warns. Dogs and cats are similar in size to the natural prey of alligators.

Young alligators, those usually 4-feet or less in length, normally do not pose a significant threat unless handled, according to the post.

But it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The post asks that anyone who encounters an alligator of any size on base that they think poses a threat to people, pets or property, to get away from the reptile. Next, call the Natural Resources’ program manager at 478-327-9273.

For emergencies, call Security Forces at 478-926-2187, or 911.

The post also notes that nuisance alligators are killed — not relocated.

Some more tips from the post:

▪ Never feed alligators. For starters, it’s dangerous, and it’s against federal law. And it causes alligators to overcome their natural fear of people and become dependent on people food. And that’s bad news for the alligators who eventually will have to be relocated or killed.

▪ Do not throw fish scraps, excess bait or trash into the water. Do not throw catch-and-release fish near an alligator.

▪ Take extra precaution near bodies of water when alligators are most active between dusk and dawn.

▪ Remember, swimming and wading is not permitted in any body of water on base, so don’t do it.

But it’s OK to observe and photograph alligators but only from a distance, the post says.

In April, Bibb County sheriff’s deputy Clay Williams wrestled with an alligator found on the walking track near the ballfields at Central City Park.

The alligator was safely relocated, but became a Telegraph Facebook sensation at the time.

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser

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