Alligators: Myth vs. Fact
In honor of The Chesapeake’s House own friendly gator, it’s time to play a little game of myth vs. fact.
Myth: Alligators can grow to be over 20 feet long and weigh a ton.
Fact: The longest recorded length for an alligator is 19ft 2in. It was trapped in the early 1900’s in Louisiana. Most wild alligators do not grow to more than 13ft or weigh more than 600lbs. An alligators weight can vary greatly in relation to its length.
Myth: Alligators live for a hundred years or more.
Fact: Wild alligators are believed to live for 35-50 years. In captivity, their life span is believed to be up to 60-80 years. There is currently no way to judge the age of an alligator while it is still living.
Myth: Alligators will chase people.
Fact: The bigger the gator, the more shy they tend to be. Unless they are being cornered to be captured or you are near their nest, they are not likely to move aggressively towards a grown person. They are generally too large to be satisfactory prey.
Myth: You should run zig-zag if you come across an alligator.
Fact: This is a common misconception. If an alligator comes after you, run straight and fast! Although, alligators generally do not run very far.
Myth: Alligators have poor eyesight.
Fact: Alligators actually have very good eyesight, which makes them good hunters. The positioning of their eyes on their heads gives them a wide-angle view.
Myth: Alligators are not good climbers.
Fact: With their sharp claws and powerful tails to give them a boost, alligators, especially young ones, are agile climbers. They are known for climbing fences either to get to water or escape captivity.
Our final and favorite myth…
Myth: Alligators make good pets!
Fact: Alligators DO NOT make good pets! And, it is illegal to possess or take an alligator without proper licensing from SCDNR. Alligators are not affectionate and are purely instinctual.
We hope you enjoyed our myth vs. fact tid-bit and we hope to see you at The Chesapeake House soon so you can view our favorite gator at a safe distance while you eat!