Charlie and the Nature Factory [Warning: Stunningly Beautiful Large Photo Images]

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Silver King

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He lives close by, in a small lake near my home. I've been following his movements for a couple of years now.

Lately, several neighbors have been highly vocal in requesting that the alligator be removed from the area. If enough noise is made, then he will be disposed of (killed) as a nuisance.

The funny thing is that the gator is not a nuisance to anyone or anything at all. He simply exists, with plenty of natural prey at his disposal to stay fat and happy indefinitely.

Recently I was sitting near the edge of the lake next to Charlie when a well meaning passerby tried to save my life by yelling and jumping up and down. I took this shot just before Charlie was scared out of his wits:


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thothguard51

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All is fine and dandy until a child gets eaten...

I am not for killing gators and I DO understand that it is humans who are encrouching on their territority, but a grieving parent is not going to agree with us...
 

Williebee

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When we lived outside of Charleston years ago there was a gator in a swamp area near the house. There was a busy road that ran alongside it. Every day, for years, locals fed this thing marshmallows. Supposedly, this softened up teeth and gums, or just the things dietary choice, to prevent it from biting down on the casual passing person.n. I opted not to test the theory. Although the neighbor kid made me sorely tempted.

ETA: huh. Timing. :). In all the years we lived there, it never came up. No kids were ever on the news after being threatened by a gator.
 

AbielleRose

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Aww, Charlie is one handsome gator. My uncle lived in Florida for years and would scare all of us Dakotans with stories of alligators in pools or showing up in people's backyards.

Isn't there any kind of sanctuary for them? It seems so careless to just kill an animal because they're a nussiance.
 

thethinker42

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Great pic, SK. Hopefully he lays low and doesn't himself "removed." (Or should I say...hopefully people don't get ridiculously hysterical and remove the Fearsome Vicious Predator (tm).)
 

L.C. Blackwell

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And unfortunately the Croc Rescue Network will not remove "wild American Alligators from the states where they are native."

If destruction is imminent, however, you might try to contact Gary Saurage at Gator Rescue in Texas. If nothing else, he/they might have suggestions.

http://gatorrescue.com/contact.htm

Good luck, Charlie!
 

Silver King

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All is fine and dandy until a child gets eaten...
That's the kind of thing I keep hearing from concerned parents. Stuff like, What if the gator eats my child?

The risks are so negligible that there's a better chance of a parent eating their own child than an alligator snatching them for a meal. Seriously.
 

jjdebenedictis

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This reminds me of an article I read where the writer remarked, "People don't fear the familiar."

The idea is you have people who are (for example) terrified that vaccinations will give their kids autism, and yet some of these people quite casually smoke around their kids.

If a thing is familiar, but dangerous, it's hard to be frightened of it. If it's unfamiliar, however, then you might be scared all out of proportion to the actual risk.

People are scared of Charlie because he's exotic. These might be people who drive over the speed limit without their seat belt and never feel a hint of fear.
 

Medievalist

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There's a place I love to go on Sanibel for bird watching.

Twice I've seen alligators hatching.

They're beautiful little eating machines. And the kinds of sounds they make--honestly, it dos remind me of conversational speech.
 

bettielee

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Alligators, Crocs, they fascinate me. They're Dinosaurs for goodness sakes! ;)

Good luck Charlie.... I'd suggest the Gator Boys - they don't kill what they rescue, but they do "alligator wrestle" - which I think is just revolting.
 

DoomBunny

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I'm told alligators are fairly docile for the most part, but I get the impression that all crocodilians are tarred with the salty brush. There's a monster for you. I love 'em :D

Of course, just about everything here in Aus can kill you ten times before you hit the ground.

/edit: Gorgeous photo, by the way. Hard to judge the scale but he doesn't look big enough to be a serious threat to kids or pets.
 

regdog

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Good luck, Charlie. Live long
 

Tepelus

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If people don't like alligators, then they need to move where there aren't any. Killing an animal because it is doing what's natural and it annoys us is no good reason to kill it. Plenty of people piss me the hell off and I don't go around killing people because they annoy me, or kill another human being. Humans know better (or ought to). Animals just do what they must to survive.
 

DeleyanLee

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That's the kind of thing I keep hearing from concerned parents. Stuff like, What if the gator eats my child?

The risks are so negligible that there's a better chance of a parent eating their own child than an alligator snatching them for a meal. Seriously.

No one ever likes my response to questions like that:

"If your child's stupid enough to get where a gator can get him/her, then it doesn't reflect well on either him/her or you. There's always a Darwin Award possibility, though."
 

JimmyB27

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Great pic, SK. Hopefully he lays low and doesn't himself "removed." (Or should I say...hopefully people don't get ridiculously hysterical and remove the Fearsome Vicious Predator (tm).)
He's an alligator - he can't do anything *but* lay low. ;)

Alligators, Crocs, they fascinate me. They're Dinosaurs for goodness sakes! ;)
Actually, birds are dinosaurs. As xkcd put it "We can now clear out our brains because we have the best fact". :D


Back on topic - it's a very great shame that Charlie might lose his life because a lot of people don't understand statistics. Or animal behaviour. Or....well, much of anything in an alarmingly high number of cases.
 

Archerbird

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Nice animal. Hope they'll leave him alone.


(It's funny that you've named him Charlie. I used to know a Charlie. He didn't like people.)
 

swachski

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It's a wonder that a species with a population of 7 billion can feel threatened by one with a population of 2 million. Kill Charlie or we'll go extinct!!
 

JimmyB27

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It's a wonder that a species with a population of 7 billion can feel threatened by one with a population of 2 million. Kill Charlie or we'll go extinct!!
To be fair, I think the fear is for individuals rather than the species as a whole. If a croc was chewing my leg off I rather doubt that humanity's extinction would be the first thing on my mind.
 

swachski

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Ah, my dry wit fails yet again...
 

backslashbaby

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I knew a guy whose grandmother used to sweep the gators off the pier to their house every afternoon so she could get to the mailbox :D

They do scare me to be too close to them. So I don't get very close to them. I wouldn't have as a kid, either. I also didn't play in traffic!
 

Jersey Chick

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He'd make a nice bag and pair of shoes...

I'm KIDDING!

Live and let live, that's my motto. It's like around here, when people from NYC move up into the mountains in NW Jersey (why yes, we do have mountains. :D) because they want to live in the great outdoors. Then they realize that the great outdoors comes with bears and coyotes and racoons and oppossums. Then those animals become nuisances and people scream for their heads.

I hope Charlie's okay, just doin' his gator thing.