‘Aggressive alligator’ forces Florida park to close temporarily

File Photo

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – A Florida park closed Sunday morning because of an “aggressive alligator,” according to the Mount Dora Police Department.

The police department said Palm Island Park would reopen sometime in the future, but no other details about the alligator or reopening date for the 8-acre nature preserve were given.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, alligators in Florida are currently in the nesting season, right between the mating and hatching seasons.

RELATED: Alligator mating season: Local trapper shares warning about ‘nuisance alligators’ in Northeast Florida

Courtship with alligators begins in early April, and mating occurs in May or June, FWC said. Females build a mound nest of soil, vegetation, or debris and deposit an average of 32 to 46 eggs in late June or early July. Incubation requires approximately 63-68 days, and hatching occurs from mid-August through early September.

MORE: Man looking for Frisbees in Florida lake killed in gator attack

It’s not clear if the aggressive reptile at Palm Island Park is a mother alligator, but News4JAX news partner News 6 was given the following list of alligator safety tips by Gatorland at the onset of Alligator breeding season this year:

  • Alligators can be very territorial, and many are on the move looking for mates.
  • When water levels are low, this also puts alligators on the move.
  • Use extra caution in the morning or evening hours in shallow water, as alligators may think the splashing is an animal at the water’s edge.
  • Stay away from alligators you see in the wild and do not feed them.
  • Remember, it is against the law in the State of Florida to feed or harass an alligator in the wild.
  • Report any alligator concerns by contacting the FWC.

About the Author:

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.