That big fellow over there on the left resides in a wetlands area not too far away from where we live – or at least he did six years ago. Our daughter got a couple of pictures of him back then when she was about halfway around the longest trail with Karen.
Knowing that there’s at least one gator out there – the sign at the front implies more than one – some people won’t consider venturing out on the Bona Dea trails at Russellville. Too risky, I guess. However, “alligators are generally timid towards humans and tend to walk or swim away1” if approached.
We watch for gators when we go on the trails, but haven’t seen any since Karen and Mel spotted that one in 08.
According to Wikipedia1, the range of the American Alligator extends into southern Arkansas. That’s humorous, since we live in the northwest quarter of the state. There are also gators at Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge along the Arkansas River in the southern part of our county.
As with any large animal, the best measure to limit risk is maintaining a safe distance.
Alligators prefer smaller prey, with children at greater risk than adults. They are more likely to attack humans that are in or near the water.2
1 Alligator – Wikipedia
2 List of fatal alligator attacks in the United States by decade – Wikipedia
Note: This post evolved differently than I expected. Inspired by Risk assessment on the blog nickhereandnow, I had intended to write on how what is risky to one might not be so risky to others.