Kirsten Bartlow with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission shares some information on alligators in Arkansas. The below copy is care of KARK 4 News.
Are alligators native to Arkansas?
Yes, alligators have been in Arkansas for thousands of years. Their numbers where heavily depleted by unregulated market hunting (purses, belts, shoes, etc.) and draining of wetlands from 1860 to 1960. They are now mainly found in the lower third of the state. They cannot handle the hard freezes in the northern portion of the state. 45 of our 75 counties have documented gators.
Are alligators dangerous?
No, if you leave them alone! It is illegal to feed alligators in Arkansas. They can lose their fear of humans. Alligators are not known to attack humans in Arkansas. However, do not let children or pets swim in waters with alligators.
Where can I see alligators in Arkansas?
The Arkansas Post National Memorial and Millwood State Park. Or, visit the AGFC nature center in Pine Bluff or Little Rock to see live alligators in captivity.
- Mama gators build nests on the ground for their eggs. A gator’s sex is determined by the temperature in the nest.
- Mama gators protect the nest. When she hears the young yelping, she opens the nest and gently carries them to water in her mouth. She sticks around to help protect them for up to two years.
- Gators in Arkansas do not eat during the winter months-they’ll bask in the sun but they are not warm enough to digest food.