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It seems we're getting reports quite frequently about gators showing up in highly populated areas.  Now of course, we live in Louisiana.  Reports of alligators are not uncommon. But it got me to wondering why we're getting more reports lately.

Residents in the Houston neighborhood of the Cinco Ranch subdivision were surprised by an 11-foot gator casually strolling the neighborhood.

Alligator mating season is typically in the spring, beginning around April, and runs to about June. After laying as many as 3 or 4 dozen eggs at a time, the incubation period is around 60-68 days. Eggs are then usually hatched anytime between mid August to early September. Which is right around now.  But females don't 'forage for food' to feed their young. After hatchlings are born, the mom will carefully carry the babies to the relative safety of the water.

Survival rates are relatively low for gator hatchlings. About a third of alligator nests are destroyed by predators or weather. And of the surviving nests, only about a dozen or so hatchlings are born.  Of those born, only around 10 will survive a year, and the odds don't get much better. Only 5 or so will reach maturity according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The recent alligator in the Houston subdivision was so huge it had to be lifted by a tow truck where it was safely relocated to Gator Country near Beaumont Texas.

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