Alligators have made their way to Tennessee, and, per the law, there really isn’t much you can do about it.
According to News Channel 5 of Nashville, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials confirm alligators are naturally expanding their range into Tennessee from southern border states.
“A recent sighting on video of a seven-foot alligator in West Tennessee at the Wolf River WMA in Fayette County was just one of several confirmed sightings in Southwest Tennessee,” the station reported.
According to The Tennessean, a four-foot alligator was captured Tuesday in East Tennessee’s Monroe County. In March, a seven-foot alligator was spotted in West Tennessee’s Fayette County, the paper went on to say.
“Alligators are protected species and catching or shooting them is against the law,” the paper went on to say.
According to News Channel 5, nervous Tennesseans may have to accept the situation, as is.
“Authorities with the TWRA said they have not stocked any alligators in the state, and they added the alligators are simply expanding. They said we must learn to coexist with them like many others in the southern states,” the station reported.
Alligators, News Channel 5 went on to say, will prey on fish, turtles, snakes, frogs, and waterfowl. They are also known to occasionally feed on larger animals like possums, raccoons, and deer.
Alligators, according to The Tennessean, “can survive Tennessee winters and are known to stick their snouts out of water before it freezes so they can keep breathing.”
Alligators are also making their way further into Texas and as far north as New Jersey even, the paper reported.
In Texas, one alligator is suspected of eating a miniature horse several years ago, according to the paper.
News Channel 5 quoted this statement from TWRA officials:
“TWRA would like to remind everyone that alligators are a protected species and catching or shooting one is a violation of the law. If you come across one while exploring the outdoors in West TN, leave it alone and enjoy Tennessee’s unique biodiversity.”
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