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Alligators in North Carolina

Donna Campbell Smith is an author, freelance writer, and photographer. She has an AAS degree in equine tech and is a certified instructor.


Alligators Have Come Back to North Carolina

Alligators have made a comeback in North Carolina after almost being eradicated in the early twentieth century. The beasts have been sighted as far north as the Great Dismal Swamp near the VA/NC border.

Lake Mattamuskeet and the Alligator River have become ideal habitat for North Carolina’s alligators. According to Johnson County’s newspaper, The Herald, a farmer near Lake Mattamuskeet encountered a 14 footer in front of one of the grain bins, apparently finding it a warm spot to rest. The Game Warden was called in to remove the monster and release it back into a wilder location.

If you are driving to the Outer Banks you might be lucky enough to see an alligator enjoying a nice bask in the sun in the canal that runs along highway 64 between Columbia, NC and Mann’s Harbor. In fact, drive with caution in this area. In May 2014 a drive hit and killed an 800-pound gator, doing considerable damage to the vehicle.

North Carolina’s more southern counties naturally have the highest of the State’s alligator population. Perhaps the most famous are the alligators that swim around the battle ship USS North Carolina in Wilmington, NC. A sign warns visitors to the memorial ship, “Caution Alligators are Dangerous.”

Live Alligators in Roanoke Island NC Aquarium - one is a rare albino


Life of an Alligator

Alligators are carnivorous and they are opportunists. They eat whatever is available – fish, other alligators, cats, dogs, small livestock, humans. Meat’s meat as far as the gator knows. They are aggressive and will attack humans so do not approach them. The average lifespan of the alligator is 30-50 years, with the maximum most likely occurring in captivity.

Alligators prefer fresh water streams and canals but will venture into the brackish waters of the coastal estuaries and have even been known to take a swim in the ocean. A member of the reptile family, gators are cold-blooded and cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. But they do not hibernate, but brumate, meaning their metabolism slows, they become sluggish and inactive. They dig into the earth and make dens where they rest during very hot or cold days. The “doorways” to these dens are usually accessed under water.Even on cold days they can be seen sticking their snouts above the water surface to breathe.

The alligator begins courtship in April and breeding goes on until May or early June. The female lays her eggs in a nest she constructed of vegetation. The nest is about two feet high and five feet in diameter. The eggs take about 65 days to hatch. The hatchlings leave the nest in early fall, but the mother keeps a close watch over them until the following spring when breeding season begins again.

Alligators are Protected by Law

Federal law protects alligators as a threatened species. Individual states are allowed to manage and control their alligator populations. Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas will issue permits to kill nuisance or dangerous alligators. In North Carolina hunting or killing an alligator is illegal and only state wildlife officials can remove problem gators.

In North Carolina, the wildlife commission is asking the public to help in determining just how many alligators there are in the state and their range. They have created a citizen science project, asking the public to report their sightings. People can do this by uploading their photos and giving the location where the photo was taken to https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/nc-alligators.

Up Close with a Baby Gator at the Roanoke Island NC Aquarium

Roanoke Island is home to alligators in the wild, but you are lucky to see one unless you visit the Roanoke Island NC Aquarium.

Roanoke Island is home to alligators in the wild, but you are lucky to see one unless you visit the Roanoke Island NC Aquarium.

Alligator Hunting Allowed in Hyde County NC in 2018

NC is allowing 20 hunters in Hyde County, NC to hunt alligators between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, 2018. They 20 will be chosen by electronic lottery from those who apply. There is an $8 application fee. The hunting license costs $250 for NC residents and $500 for non-residents. Methods allowed are catch poles, harpoons, gigs, clubs, bang sticks, and archery equipment. Bag limit is one alligator per permit holder.

© 2008 Donna Campbell Smith


Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on February 10, 2020:

Oh my goodness, Paul! That sounds like a close call. I am glad you're here to tell it!

Paul Harding on February 09, 2020:


I was photographing the gorgeous mist laden Cypress and Tupelo gum trees on Merchants Millpond swamp just after sunrise from my kayak when I bumped into a log ............ (that wasn't a log). Scared the crap out of me as it exploded into a dive and tail slapped the kayak hard,. I came close to capsizing ! I was alone out on the water and heart was in my throat as I .........s l o w l y....... retreated back to the launch ramp trying not to make any splashes with the paddle. ( I can even feel my heart beating faster now, as I recount my adventure to you ) !

Maria Grace de Guzman from Philippines on September 28, 2018:

Maybe they are looking for something to eat.

Deborah Minter from U.S, California on January 20, 2018:

Maybe they are looking for food.

Susiehoosie on April 09, 2016:

I just saw my first alligator on the bank of a pond behind our house in Ocean Ridge Plantation near Ocean Isle Beach! Awesome!!! Glad our kids are grown and we have no pets.

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on November 01, 2015:

I am glad the gators are coming back. I wouldn't need a sign to tell me not to swim around them. Here in San Diego, we are also beginning to see warmer climate creatures make their way north as our coastal current heats up. I don't know if this is part of an overall trend, but it is interesting the gators are making their way north too. Great hub.

O from New York on October 31, 2015:

Never saw a gator in person but they are quite intimidating. Nice hub, I am now following you for more :)

Lisa on November 12, 2014:

I have been fascinated with alligators since I saw my first one in the wild in Southport, NC in 2010. Since then I have been searching for habitats and taking notes and even naming the gators I have found. So far I've found 83 alligators in Brunswick County! Alligators have become my passion. I spend a lot of time cleaning up around their habitats. I feel so lucky to live in a state where we can see them in the wild, not at the zoo or in an aquarium. Just use c0mmon sense...respect them, keep your distance, don't feed them and of course, keep your children and pets away from areas where they are known to be. And remember, they were here before us and have every right to remain where they are. EDUCATE, don't relocate!

Gloria on August 18, 2013:

A huge alligator swam down the Neuse River several years ago. My brother took a video camera and filmed the alligator, he was living in a pond near Garner. Dogs were missing! It was about a 450 lb. alligator. Federal wildlife officers shot him. My brother still has the video. Stay out of the Neuse. Alligators walk, there everywhere. I've seen them in the ocean, the sound, canals. Be careful!

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on July 30, 2013:

SL, that is truly scary!

SL on July 29, 2013:

We live on the Cape Fear River by Snow cut Bridge. Today my children and I were playing on the waters edge and after about 30 minutes bubbles came up out of nowhere I screamed to my babies to get out of the water and sure enough an Alligtor was in tha water. The gator was sneaking up to my babies. He was about 4 feet and very curious to see what was splashing on the beach. I believe if I had not seen him he would had gotten a hold of one of my children and would had put them in the hospital or worse. I'll use our beach again but with my gator gun.

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on July 12, 2013:

Steve D. I am glad you didn't lose any fingers! or Arms!

Steve D. on July 11, 2013:

I've vacationed in Oak Island, NC every summer since 1992. In 1999 I caught a 5' alligator with the help of a local, and we relocated it. We caught it on 211 near the Walmart in Southport. It was blocking both lanes of traffic, and I saw the chance for an adventure and grabbed onto the gator's tail and pulled it off the road. I'm still telling the story ~15 years later:)

Gail Meyers from Johnson County, Kansas on July 09, 2013:

I would only have to see an alligator on the beach or on a golf course one time before I quit going to that beach or golf course! LOL

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on July 08, 2013:

I loved reading this and the comments were great. Not from NC but have visited. I see that a lot of folks go to various lakes to swim. I guess the gators will put the kabosh on that. (I keep thinking about how much I would love to try fried gator)

dineane from North Carolina on May 10, 2013:

We saw two today on the way home from Nags Head, in the canal just after 64 turns right after Manns Harbor. Not as big as the one we saw a couple of years ago, but still bigger than I'd want to see up close!

MikeW on May 04, 2013:

Saw a few alligator brings on the bank fishing Cape Fear River right behind Methodist University in Fayetteville. Prints were about 4 inches long and 3 inches wide so I am guessing the gator lurching around that area is pretty big.

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on July 25, 2012:

Oceanmama, I think it would scare me, too, having one that close to home. I guess you really have to pay attention to where you are walking.

Oceanmama1 on July 25, 2012:

This morning my grandchildren and I saw an alligator in the pond behind our house in Ocean Ridge Plantation in Ocean Isle Beach, NC (off RT 17 at about the 7.5 mile marker). We've lived here about 13 years and see a gator once or twice a year in the pond. They scare the beegeebees out of me.

Claude on June 01, 2012:

5/31/12. Great lake-Croatian forest-jones county nc-kayaked alongside a 6 footer, Claude f .

dj on March 29, 2012:

there are no gators in white lake, if there is they remove them quick, now big swamp, lake waccamaw yes definatly there, I pass them everyday

joshua on March 13, 2012:

is there aligators in beafort county??

if there is are they rare common ?

kierstin on November 07, 2011:

I am moving to NC and cant wait to see my 1st alligator ever

Mike on November 02, 2011:

Back in 2004 after moving here, I photographed a 10 footer cruising down the middle of Brices Creek, near New Bern, NC, that caused a small uproar. It turned out most locals hadn't ever seen one and some didn't want me passing my photos around, might hurt tourism. I've seen one since then and my neighbor saw another one. I've never heard of a gator attack on a human in NC.

john h rollins on September 17, 2011:

I had two close encounters with two aligators around lake mattamuskeet, one positionsd himself about 20 feet away and when I hooked a nice catfish he charged and as luck would have it the line broke and he went after the fish. he came within 4 or 5 feet.

I think the wildlife folks in the area should post warning signs where aligators are known to be.

Mick on August 08, 2011:

Saw a Gator in small pond in Clayton yesterday. I took my lure.

Rory on July 24, 2011:

I just saw one today in southeast Guildford county NC, it still had the white markings on it and was maybe 24" long, it was crossing the road in a thunderstorm and I almost hit it with my car, gald I didn't...

billie fitchett on July 22, 2011:

No there is no gators in white lake nc

billie fitchett on July 22, 2011:

There was 200 alligators spotted at lke waccama nc where i live close by. They were spotted on a helicopter above. The brodge where i jump off into the creek has about 30 gators in it. One was 16 foot long. There has been gator attacks and they will attack nything even dos and pets they walk right up to your back yard. And yes we do kill them bc they are dangerous nd woll attack u without warning.

SH on July 18, 2011:

I have never seen an alligator in Jordan. Heard a lot of rumors about them. It wouldn't surprise me if someone released one there during the summer but it would be very difficult for it to survive through the colder months. Might be possible in a deep winding burrow?

michael on July 16, 2011:

well idk if there was any n jordan lake cuz we go swimming there

kampcat on July 16, 2011:

Yes there are alligators at Lake Jordan. I have spent most of my life in NC and have hundreds of pictures I have taken of alligators in NC.. If you truly want to find alligators in the wild for pictures or to just see them in the wild. Lake Waccamaw is one of the best areas I know of .. There is a state park there but the real gator show is in the small canals around the lake. You can literally see 40-100 alligators there any warm day basking in the sun on rocks and logs. All sizes call that area home. I live near Camp Lejeune and this area also is full of gators. Greenfield Lake Park in Wilmington NC is another area good for seeing them.

michael on July 14, 2011:

is there any gators at lake jordan

Leslie on June 30, 2011:

About 4 weeks ago in craven county while kayaking, we spotted a 6 foot or larger gator in "The Gut".

marlowhandm on June 27, 2011:

does anyone go to white lake,nc????? are there really gators in that water????? i am terrified of them...ekkkk...i have a small child....and a dog....i wouldn't think they would live in such clean water.....but....????? help

Anne on June 27, 2011:

There are definitely alligators in Richmond and Scotland Counties! A very good friend of mine was driving home from work about 1:00 am one morning and thought a log had fallen in the road so he went around it. IT MOVED! He turned around to check it out and it was a 9 ft. long alligator. He called 911 and wildlife came and moved him.

marlowhandm on June 26, 2011:

Eeeeeeeeekkkk seriously there are gators in white lake nc. I had a feeling. But I had ask a motel owner there and he laughed at me and said no. Yikes. I will NEVER go there again. Thank goodness we didn't buy a place there. Ekkk

SH on June 26, 2011:

Recently saw a small alligator in Lake Wylie, NC. A friend of mine that wake boards there called me in May and said they had been seeing some gators. I hopped in the truck and took a trip to Lake Wylie. Sure enough, I saw a little gator, 3 or 4 ft. Still waiting to see one in Lake Norman. Heard a lot of stories but haven't seen one myself.

SH on June 26, 2011:

Yes, there are alligators in White Lake! I have seen many gators there over the years. Never saw any monsters, most have been 3' to 6' range and I have only seen them at night while cat-fishing.

Augustine Nieto on June 25, 2011:

my name is augie n. i was telling my son that in 1977 there was allegators in camp lejeune in the swamps but i think there still allegators in camp lejuine.

marlowhandm on June 24, 2011:

are there alligators in white lake nc???? can someone please let me know if they have ever seen any.

concerned on June 24, 2011:

By the way, the Yeopim River siting was June 20, 2011. BE CAREFUL!

Concerned on June 24, 2011:

In Perquimans County, NC, at the mouth of the Yeopim River, which opens into the Albemarle Sound, at the Snug Harbor park we saw a 4 to 5 foot alligator swimming around the pier where people often go "crabbing". There were two girls swimming there when they saw something coming to them. They hurriedly got out. After climbing onto the pier, they could see that it was indeed an alligator. There were seven people there who saw it, however, many people don't believe it was really there. A crowd gathered in just a few minuetes, but we could only see what seemed to be small fish working in the water. A large turtle came in close to enjoy the remains, I guess. The witnesses said when they first saw him, he had come up to the pier ladder where the girls climbed out, and there was a school of small fish out in front of him, jumping out of the water, as if they were running from him. The alligator had come to the surface just enough for the witnesses to see its back. Word quickly spread in this small community, and in just a few minuetes, a crowd gathered to see this "never before seen" site. I watched as teens sat about 25 feet from where we could see the fish working, along the edge of the water, splashing in hopes to see the alligator. WOW! There were four sherriffs there and many parents, but nobody saw the seriousness of what could quickly and easily happen. Apparenly our schools need to educate our children more on alligators, as no one seems to know much about them and how really dangerous they can be and how quickly things can change into a horrible situation. They are so powerful and fast! There is just no reason for ignorance with the internet at our fingertips. The alligator has been in northeastern NC for years, but people still don't want to believe there could be one in "our" river. I just hope everyone wakes up and takes this serious before it's too late!

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on June 22, 2011:

Jane, I have looked so hard to see that alligator. Lucky you! I think everyone has seen it except me, LOL.

janebob on June 22, 2011:

6/16/2011 I spotted a 6-8 foot alligator in the canal along 64 at the intersection with 264 just west of Manns Harbor.

Andy on June 12, 2011:

To add to my earlier comment, Does anyone know what happened to Wally and his friends out in front of wal-mart in southport? There used to be a little guy about 3' in the very front ravine and then a couple of larger ones up to about 5' on the side ravine.. but every since the first time I saw them they have never been there again.

Andy on June 12, 2011:

I've always vacationed at Oak Island since I was born. My fathers boss when I was young owned a beach house on the isle' and that's where we would stay.. after the hurricanes took out the beach houses foundation and it was torn down I still stay at Oak Island. Either with Margrette Rudd, or at the Ocean Crest. It wasn't until about 5 years ago that I saw the first gator out at the Orton Plantation Pond at night hanging out by the concrete bank and then the next day in the same pond we saw one that had to have been at least 11' and then the same one over by the concrete bank that's over 6' and a momma gator inside the plantation houses main gates her and her babies.... Well, every since then I've always went back to see the gators every time I go to Oak Island, I go look at the gators. I haven't gotten a chance to see the big guy since the first time... But the one by the concrete stays there, he has some injurys to his front paw and looks as tho he may even have an eye out... Well, this year My Wife and I went to Oak Island on our 1st wedding anniversary (we went for our honeymoon as well) and Of course as usual we went out to see the gators! The same one is still there by the concrete and we also got to see two lil guys hanging out near him today he decided to raise his tell and vibrate his body shaking the water and making a powerful growling at least 5-6 times in a row.. and then the lil guy near him thought he'd show his skills and do the same (not as powerful tho lol) I wish we had it on video! took several pics we Also took a drive to the southport ferry didn't get on the ferry but came back out and went straight got on the road over there and there is a little creek that passes under the road and there was a nice sized gator in that creek as well right off the side of the road as well as some huge frogs and tons of crabs. The one in this creek seemed more brave, acted as tho he would come out of the water. The gator at orton that has the bad paw seems like he just waits for food he is always there and ive seen pics of him online by various others... he will sink his head under water and wait.. as soon as a vehicle gets close out pops his head just waiting to see if he can get some food.. at least 100 fish swimming around him and he just waits to see if he can get a tiny meal from tourists... The momma gator inside of orton as I heard one of her babies cry she got furious! - NEVER mess with a mommas babies as soon as they start to cry she will come running and she aims to kill anything that is around her young. Gators are reptiles, they can live for years. Modern dinosaurs reptiles never stop growing their whole lives as long as they eat they grow. There are swamps in parts of the worlds were there are reports of gators, or crocs up to and over 30ft. I doubt we will ever see an american gator that long but they do get long 14' - 20' would be very large for NC. I live in Lenoir NC close to lake hickory and about an hour from lake norman and there have been gators spotted in lake hickory (catawba river) so please be respecful, and be safe.

Ray Gillen Sr. on May 21, 2011:

When i was a young boy and lived near Greenfield Lake in Wilmington N.C. I saw quite a few bet there are lots more there!!

Judith on May 20, 2011:

My husband and I have been fishing the intercoastal waterway for 25 yrs. in Onslow County. We do not go anymore. There are to many alligators and they are getting larger. Doesn't anyone remember the marine that was fishing and one tried to climb into his boat? His 911 call was frantic. They can be vicious if you accidentally tap one with your boat while they're under water. To many pets have disappeared along riverfront properties. Many are large now. Several have come up on the ocean side of the beaches here also. Be vigilant. Many more reports of "gator" attacks and injuried people that Onslow County does NOT want people to know about. So for the safety of yourselves and your dogs...BE ALERT!

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on May 17, 2011:

Terence, is he the one that was in the lake that made such a fuss on the news?

Terence on May 16, 2011:

My son and neighbor has seen a 5 footer in our shared pond in South Mills today.

Ray on May 12, 2011:

I used to travel hwy 64 to Nags Head frequently and early spring I would usually see a 10'gator just past Milltail Rd. at the entrance to Alligator River WMA. Also while paddling Milltail creek, I have a picture of a huge gator that I scared off of the bank while fishing. One other place I have see a gator is at Merchant's Millpond State Park. A small 3 footer. He was laying on a log and when I made a move to reach in my backpack for a camera, he came off the log splashing water on me. They are common in Dare and Hyde counties, don't waste time looking for them, just be aware and you will see one. Bears are also very common in the area.

Leslie on May 09, 2011:

We saw a gator while kayaking near Cool Springs Landing in Craven County. We were about 20' away and he didn't look too big. Scared me death and my legs turned to jello!

hydeco on April 27, 2011:

we have several in hyde county. some in the dike canals and some in the ponds. one close to 12 feet that ive seen. even saw one walking down highway 264 around new holland about a week ago.

Kevin on April 24, 2011:

My family and I saw a huge one in the canal along 64 last July...must have been 10 feet+. I have pics if anyone wants to see them. I've also seen them while kayaking in the lake along the Merchant Millpond trail. We also have a family friend that found a dead one in Holiday Island NC, which is on the Albemarle sound close to Hertford...next to Albemarle Plantation. They're here!!

pEYTON on April 16, 2011:

Yes Susan I have seen alligators in that river. I only enter the ocean in NC. Rivers too dangerous. Alligators can be as far inland as the mountains folks.

Sandflea on April 14, 2011:

On April 23, 2010, I saw one in the canal near East Lake on Hwy. 64. There are several in Merchant's Millpond in Gates County and many have been spotted in Camden County near South Mills and in Camden Point.

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on April 10, 2011:

I am envious of you, Julioa and Dineane. I have yet to see Wally, or Walliette as the case may be.

Julioa on April 09, 2011:

well just so you all know the gator in east lake has been there a long time his name is Wally Gator I have seen him several times over the years and he/she jut keeps growing it is an awesome sight to see that gator laid up in the canal and can almost stretch from one bank to the other they are really wide canals...

dineane from North Carolina on April 09, 2011:

I was the first to comment - I'd forgotten! I've since seen the East Lake 'gator (in the canal next to Hwy 64 between the Alligator river bridge and Mann's Harbor) three times, twice in April of last year and again last weekend. He's a big guy!

chickeb on April 09, 2011:

Well, I'm here to tell you - they are here! I live in The Cape in Wilmington. Very south Wilmington before the carolina beach bridge. On a daily basis I see 1 to 2 gators in my back yard! My yard backs up to a pond and there are at least 4 gators in that pond. There are gators throughout this neighborhood in all the ponds. Very cool creatures!!

joe joe on April 03, 2011:

I Patrol the Rivers in search of these wild meat eatting beast!!! have seen two but can not tell where.

jacksonville on March 29, 2011:

i saw a monster today. dont really know what to do when you come across these guys. me and my buddy were on kayaks. i dont know how big he was exactlly but somewhere 12+ foot. we were way up on one of the inlets near new river. a little of advise for a beginner kayak fisherman.

hillbilly on March 24, 2011:

i have seen em in potts creek ,off yadkin river(davidson co. in central NC)

Saw It on March 22, 2011:

When I was going through military training years ago near Camp Mackall (West of Bragg & near Bones Fork swamp), a +/- 14 footer was sunning himself across parts of both lanes of the road that ran next to the swamp. It stopped traffic because he was too big to drive over. Sounds large but some Animal Control types showed up & verified this before running him back into the woodline.

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on March 16, 2011:

Eric I guess you missed this sentence in the article:

"Alligators prefer fresh water streams and canals but will venture into the brackish waters of the coastal estuaries and have even been known to take a swim in the ocean."

Eric on March 16, 2011:

i forgot to post what i wanted to say about the american croc , but they are only found in south florida as far as united states go . there is only about 2,000 estimated to be left in the US " south florida " .

Eric on March 16, 2011:

lightly humored , i agree with not shooting them and leave them alone etc . but you said they cant tolerate salt water and they are either passing by or its an american croc . i've grown up in florida almost my whole life and have always loved gators and learned about them . i will tell you that they can easily tolerate salt water as they breathe air , not water . they are not common in the ocean because it doesn't provide suitable places to build dens or give them hideaways . i remember a 12 footer used to hang around the navy ships every day in mayport florida " jacksonville " , and i've seen them at the beaches there and even around cape canveral when i lived there .

Vic on February 27, 2011:

The laws protecting NC alligators is not stupid, what is your excuse.

Ryan on February 21, 2011:

That law is stupid in north Carolina Alligators are a dangerous creature and they should be killed

Davin on February 17, 2011:

I was walking my large black lab in Indigo Plantation, Southport, NC,when a lady stopped to tell me that a six foot gator lives in the drainage ditch right beside the home that my family are renting. She said that he comes out in March. The drainage ditch is maby 60 feet from our front door. A lot of people walk their dogs along that street. NO attacks reported yet but I dont want my 150 pound black lab to be the first or worst one of my family members. I understand that we can not kill them but doesn't everyone have the right to pertect themselves and their pets if they are attacted?

matt on January 04, 2011:

thay have always been there. we would see them when we go fishing, with my uncle. and that was back in the early 80's. and that was in sampson co. n.c, just the mountion lion is still in n.c. as well as the wolf. do let these gov. and wild life nut's tell you it's not there. THESE BEAST ARE THERE.do not be fool'd.

Vic on December 15, 2010:

I've taken hundreds of photos "in the wild" of NC alligators in the Jacksonville and Wilmington area. They're there if you look for them. Be careful and keep a safe distance as they can move extremely fast.

JellyBean on December 10, 2010:

Earlier this week I was driving West on I-40 between Exits 408 and 398 (near Burgaw, NC) and I could have sworn I saw a 5-6 foot alligator sunning him/herself in the grass along the highway. It was rather chilly that day (low 40's?) but the late afternoon sun was very bright. Could I really have seen a gator in that temp or was it my imagination???

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on December 05, 2010:

In a quick internet search I learned alligators stay in their burrows when temps get below 75 degrees. Like turtles, when we get a warm spell them come back out.

eddie on December 05, 2010:

I'd like to know where do the N.C. gators go in the months of dec,jan,feb,and a little bit of march.I know they dig dens but what happens when it snows?

Jerrydaanimalman from North Carolina on November 28, 2010:

Alligators will never be able to extend their range far beyond NC, because the weather is just too cold. A good place to see 'gators is the Green Swamp area, near Supply, NC. Saw a ten footer there, on Juniper Creek, while we were checking reports of ivory billed woodpeckers.

gator kill on October 10, 2010:

The Wildlife Commission needs to stop protecting gators, next they will be headed north to NY.

CRAIGSJW on October 02, 2010:

We take our kids every year to the lake near Ortons Plantation when vacationing at Oak Island to check on our friends. The plantation itself was closed this year when we went, so didn't get to see the ones there, & it was so hot the day we went by the lake there at Ortons we only saw one small one, the big "king of the lake" usually waiting on whomever is feeding them wasn't there. Stopping in to see them evry year has now become a tradition for us, for the past 5/6 years! Is it illegal to have them as pets in NC?

Laur on September 07, 2010:

I hit some great shots of a huge gator in the pond near Orton... Just hanging out!

kjp032299 on September 06, 2010:

Saw and took pictures of a beautiful 8ft alligator while on vacation in Oak Island N.C. . I was snake hunting off the island down by the Orton Plantation and we pulled up to a large lake and there it was waiting as if someone was gonna feed it. Took great pictures and my kids got to see it as well it was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kathy on September 04, 2010:

I saw an alligator behind my house today on a creek off the Croatan National Forest in Cape Carteret, NC. It was near my dog who was up on the bank so I hurriedly called the dog and got her safely inside the house...I had not seen an alligator on that creek in many years so it surprised me today! The gator looked to be about 6 feet long.

info on August 22, 2010:

There have been many seen on base housing in Jacksonville. They are just in the little ponds enjoying themselves. eeek!

Peeples from South Carolina on August 20, 2010:

While I find this hub very informative I think a note should be made that human attacks typically only occur due to lack of common sense among people. Alligators that have been fed by humans or alligators that feel in danger of being hurt are the ones that attack. Typically they do not attack people.

Lightly_Humored_SN on August 13, 2010:

Don't shoot them. That is the most ignorant thing anyone has posted on the whole wall.

1) Alligators have difficulty tolerating salt water. If you see them in the sound, they're either just passing through, or they are not alligators at all; they are American crocodiles. If you are caught killing an American crocodile, you will probably not only pay a fine, but also spend some time in jail as they are one of the most endangered animals in the country.

2) It is not your sound/creek/river/swamp. It is theirs'. They have lived there for millennia. They are not coming to get you. They are just doing what they do. Leave them alone and stay away from them and you will be just fine.

I_Don'tLikeSpiders_orSnakes on August 08, 2010:

Heavens to Betsy!

Hubby and I are thinking about buying a house on the sound a little north of Swansboro, NC. Loading my shotgun now. Will deal with the game warden's citation later. :)

east nc fisherman on August 03, 2010:

saw gator yesterday to my surprize in the white oak river.maby a mile or less upstream from haywoods landing it was in a cove that we were about ti go in to to fish when i saw it. did not fish the cove if you were wondering .seemed to be afrade of the boat it tried to hide after it spoted us thank god it was verry large it looked as long as my boat 14ft

Dennis on August 03, 2010:

From the Fairfield Harbour Web site - A resident has reported that Charlie, one of our resident alligators, has been seen sunning himself on a dock on Felucca Ct. He was seen to eat a duck. The resident feels Charlie is now getting bolder. We want to warn residents to be mindful of their surroundings, to be observant, and to keep an eye on children and pets.

Susan on August 01, 2010:

I've recently purchased a home on Little River outside of Elizabeth City, NC. My kids and I have been going in the river to float around on tubes and I am now concerned that there could be alligators in this river. Has anyone heard of any alligator sightings here?

Hal Gordon on July 23, 2010:

I have lived on Brice Creek near New Bern for 23 years and have seen and photographed many gators. despite the creek's heavy use by swimmers, an unpleasant encounter between a human and a gator has never occurred in the 23 years that I have lived here. However they are there and common sense dictates staying out of the water when one is sighted nearby.

jim on July 06, 2010:

We were at lake waccamaw this past sat., July 3rd, and counted 11 different 'gators in the canal around the lake. They ranged in size from 7/ ft. down to little 2/3 ft. sunning themselves on logs.

kayaker on July 02, 2010:

There are alligators in Emerald Isle-I have several photo's of a real large one.

Linda Ipock on July 01, 2010:

Hubby and I purchased my brother's Brice's Creek property

near the airport in New Bern, NC. For about three years

we heard rumors of gators being in the creek. Since we are there often enjoying our little "camp", we are looking across the creek for whatever we can see. We also take our rowboat out to enjoy the beauty of the creek. Yesterday, June 30th 2010, we noticed something

swimming toward our dock, ran for the binoculars, and-

OH MY STARS !!!! It was a large alligator, just cruising

along. He watched us and we watched him throughout the

afternoon. This is heavily populated area, and we have

even heard children splashing and playing in the water in

the middle of the creek. BE AWARE AND BE CAREFUL.

Vic on June 17, 2010:


Friends that were based on Fort Bragg in Cumberland County have told me there are plenty of alligators in your neck of the woods!

Edith williams on June 16, 2010:

Well I hate to say this, but Hope Mills lake in Cumberland County currently has a 5 ft. Alligator enjoying itself. Another sighting of an alligator also this week in same county. Unless it is the same one. This alligator is currently being watched to see if he will leave on his own. Imagine that.

NCGirl on June 16, 2010:

In Kinney Cameron Lake in Hoffman, NC (Richmond County) there are at least 2 alligators. One is 6-8 ft and the other 13 ft. Wildlife put the alligators in the lakes in this area over 30 years to help with the declining population.There are more alligators in the county.

Vic on June 11, 2010:

To dawilson,

Little Creek runs behind Brookview Drive out to New River. There is an access road to the creek and lagoons, but it is gated and locked (I have a key). It is also accessible by boat, if you are at the Marina Cafe on route 17 you will see two white signs up stream in the river, the lagoons are located there as is the creek. You can also google map or livesearch map it. You live on base at TT1, there is a large gator (12'+/-)that hangs around the Rails To Trails Bridge between TT and the Main Gate. If you go there use caution, stay alert, bring a camera, don't get to close, don't feed them (it is illegal), and be prepared to back-off very quickly as they can move very quickly! Good Luck.


Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on June 10, 2010:

Oh, ok, Dawilson, that makes sense. And all those geese that home in on the lake probably are tasty tidbits.

dawilson on June 10, 2010:

alligators can walk for miles just to find an new food source... so one day it might not have been there.. and now it is

Donna Campbell Smith (author) from Central North Carolina on June 10, 2010:

Roderick, that is a great point - it didn't just arrive, to be 7 feet long like they are reporting in the news. It had to have lived there quite a while. But, now that it made an appearance I am sure the wildlife folk will remove it. And then, you have to reason where there is one, there must be more?