Why Feeding Alligators is IllegalFriday, August 12, 2016
Feeding alligators is illegal in Mississippi. Feeding alligators
will condition wild alligators to associate humans and human
activity with a source of food. The results can be very dangerous
especially when unaware people are near a body of water where
alligators have been fed.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
(MDWFP) has received several complaints in recent weeks regarding
people feeding alligators in multiple locations across the state.
Multiple cases have been recently investigated by the MDWFP and the
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). One recent example
required the MDWFP and the USFWS to euthanize several alligators
that were conditioned to feeding from a bridge on a public road.
The alligator carcasses will be used for educational purposes at
National Wildlife Refuge offices. The MDWFP policy is to euthanize
any alligator, regardless of size, that has been conditioned to
hand-feeding because of the public safety liability created by the
Alligators will naturally avoid humans and human activity. There
has never been a documented alligator attack on a human in
Mississippi. Feeding alligators is a tremendous risk to public
safety. In light of recent alligator attacks in Florida and
South Carolina, the MDWFP is urging the public to call and report
anyone who is feeding alligators or locations where people are
known to feed alligators.
Never throw food items, including discarding of fish parts
around boathouses or boat ramps, into the waters where alligators
are known to inhabit. To report information about anyone feeding
alligators, please call the MDWFP 24 hour hotline at 1-800-BE-SMART
or 1-800-237-6278. We do not need your name, just your
For more information regarding alligators, visit our website at
or call us at 601-432-2199. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp or
on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.