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American alligators are very common in the southern United States. Some of the most alligator infested lakes are in Florida and Louisiana. While you may not want to swim next to an alligator on purpose, seeing one in person is an exhilarating experience. But can you find alligators in Alabama? Are there giant alligators in Lake Forest? Read on to find out if Lake Forest is home to Alabama’s most massive alligators.
About American Alligators
American alligators are large crocodilian reptiles found in the southeastern United States. They are one of only two alligator species. The other alligator species is the Chinese alligator. Most adult male American alligators are between 11.2 and 15.1 feet long and weigh up to 999 pounds. However, the world’s largest captive alligator reached a length of 19.2 feet. Although it was never weighed, experts believe it may have weighed over 2,000 pounds. These apex predators are not picky eaters. They sneak up on their prey slowly, strike quickly, and swallow their prey without chewing.
Are there alligators in Alabama?
Alligators are plentiful in Alabama. Most American alligators in Alabama live in the southern half of the state, which touches Florida and Mississippi. About 70,000 alligators live in the state. For a short time, American alligators were on the endangered list, but Alabama enacted several laws in 1938 to protect these giant reptiles. American alligators live primarily in swampy areas and freshwater ponds and lakes. Though more common in the southern half of the state, a few alligators have been sighted in western parts of Alabama, including the Sipsey River, which covers at least 7,155 acres of forest and wetlands.
Is Lake Forest Home to Alabama’s Massive Alligators?
Lake Forest is located in Daphne, Alabama. Despite its name, Lake Forest is not just a lake; It is also a golf community. It also has three outdoor pools. It has been in operation since 1971. While visiting or living in Lake Forest, you can kayak and enjoy the lake. Although alligators are not common in Lake Forest, there was a frightening incident involving an alligator in October 2020.
Two women were kayaking in Lake Forest when a giant alligator ejected one of the women, Michelle Hartley, from her kayak and into the water. Michelle quickly swam to her friend’s kayak before the alligator knocked it over as well. Then the alligator prevented the two women from reaching the shore. They couldn’t get out of the water until firefighters threw them a rope and pulled them to shore. Although firefighters didn’t measure the alligator, they estimated it to be about 14 feet long. Since alligators are uncommon in this lake, it is likely that it entered through D’Olive Creek after Hurricane Sally. Although it was a horrifying experience, both women were unharmed.
The largest alligator caught in Alabama
Although Lake Forest isn’t known for its massive alligators, there have been some impressive catches in the state! For example, the largest alligator caught in Alabama weighed 1,011.5 pounds. Hunter Mandy Stokes and her crew brought down a massive 15ft 9in alligator. The crew consisted of her husband, two teenage children and her brother-in-law. It took the crew nearly five hours to attack and kill this large alligator. They first tracked this large alligator in the Alabama River, northwest of Montgomery. They took it to a local state park to be weighed shortly after catching it. This massive alligator impressively broke the winch used to pull the alligator up. Now the alligator’s stuffed body is on display at the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.
Other animals in Alabama
American alligators aren’t the only animals in the state. Alabama has 93 native reptile species, including 49 snakes, 12 species of lizards, and 31 turtles. In addition to American alligators, the most commonly found reptiles include the green anole, coal skink, northern mole skink, Mississippi greenwater snake, and Atlantic salt marsh snake. In addition to reptiles, the state’s many forested areas are home to large mammals, including white-tailed deer and black bears, and smaller ones, such as marsh rabbits, long-tailed weasels, Alabama beach mice, and gray bats.
Alabama also has about 60 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico. In the ocean waters near Alabama you can find American eels, Atlantic red mullets, bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, blue crabs and stingrays. If you want to see some of these animals, travel to Alabama’s beaches or state parks. Some nice state parks are DeSoto State Park, Cheaha State Park, Oak Mountain State Park and Gulf State Park.