An alligator attacks a dog on the campus of the State College of Florida in Venice
SARASOTA COUNTY — State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota posted additional signs on its Venice campus warning of Lake Jervey alligators, following a March 9 incident in which a 50-pound pit bull been attacked and probably eaten by an alligator.
A woman visiting campus brought her off-leash dog to college.
He approached the freshwater reserve nicknamed Jervey Lake, after philanthropist Bill Jervey Jr., and was captured by the alligator, which carried him underwater.
Two alligators have been removed from Lake Jervey
Two days later, alligator trappers hired by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as part of its Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program caught and removed two alligators from the body of water, the FWC spokesperson said, Adam Brown, via email.
One alligator was 6ft 9in long and the other 7ft 10in. An autopsy was not performed, so it is unknown whether either alligator ate the dog.
Brown noted that necropsies are usually only performed when the victim is human.
CFS spokeswoman Jamie Smith noted that a sign at the entrance to campus warns of alligators, as do several other permanent signs that warn of both alligators and snakes.
In 2021: FWC investigates alligator attack on man in Venice of the North pond
Also:Tampa man recovers from alligator attack in Myakka River
In 2018: Alligator kills dog at Shamrock Park in southern Venice
Alligator mating season is approaching in Florida
As alligator mating season approaches, the college has also placed additional temporary signage around the camps.
The breeding season for alligators is generally from April to June.
“As this area grows – Wellen Park – we have additional visitors to our campus, so we hope to create additional awareness,” Smith said, referring to a nearby development.
Although the college is technically in unincorporated Sarasota County, it is adjacent to Wellen Park in the city of North Port, and residents visited the campus to use walking paths.
A statement from the FWC noted that serious injuries from alligators are rare in Florida, although the SNAP program exists to handle complaints raised about alligators that could threaten people, pets or property.
The free nuisance alligator hotline is 866-392-4286.
The FWC warns that dogs and cats are similar in size to animals that alligators feed on and that pets should not be allowed to exercise or drink near bodies of water.
Ideally, pets should be kept on a short leash and away from water.
Generally, nuisance alligators are not moved, as they will try to return to the site where they were captured.
The trapper, who receives a $30 stipend for each nuisance alligator caught, typically sells skins and meat to recover costs, although on occasion they may be sold live to a farm or zoo. of alligators.
For more information visit https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/alligator/snap.
The FWC estimates that there are approximately 1.3 million alligators in Florida and they reside in all 67 counties, although they prefer freshwater lakes and slow-moving rivers.
Earle Kimel primarily covers southern Sarasota County for the Herald-Tribune and can be reached at [email protected] Support local journalism with a digital subscription to the Herald-Tribune.