APOPKA, Fla. – A DeBary woman caught a couple allegedly aggravating an alligator while visiting Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive on Christmas Day.
She caught the incident on camera and was surprised to see the gator never became aggressive.
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Experts at Gatorland in Orange County said alligators may be slower in the winter but warn people not to mess with wildlife, regardless of how cold or hot it may be.
“I go mainly to de-stress and take photos,” photographer Tammy Lovell said. “I enjoy photography.”
Lovell said what started out as a peaceful Christmas Day experience along Lake Apopka turned ugly.
“I could see people very very close to the alligator but couldn’t really tell what was going on until I looked through my camera lens,” Lovell said.
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When she took a closer look, she saw what appeared to be a couple nudging and aggravating an alligator.
She captured the alleged incident and said another witness called the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, but deputies could not confirm the call.
“In the state of Florida, it’s against the law to feed, touch and catch wild alligators,” said Brandon Fisher of Gatorland. “That’s a Florida statute not to harass any wildlife.”
Fisher said alligators move slower in cooler temperatures, but warned people not to be fooled.
“It’s a wild animal. It’s a potentially dangerous animal and something we don’t want to mess with,” Fisher said.
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