Renowned Alabama kayaker Dan Truitt, also known as “southern.paddler,” encountered a magnificent alligator while paddling through Flink Creek in the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge today. You can check out Dan’s post here and give him a follow at https://www.instagram.com/southern.paddler/
In recent years, Wheeler Wildlife Refuge in North Alabama has experienced a notable increase in alligator sightings, causing curiosity among local residents. Although social media and a heightened interest in exploring the region’s rivers could be playing a role, experts believe that several other factors are primarily responsible for this phenomenon.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reports that alligators have been present in North Alabama since the 1970s when over 50 were introduced to Wheeler Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, individuals have relocated alligators from the southern part of the state, and the Tennessee River serves as an accessible route for their movement.
Alligators are known for their adaptability, enabling them to flourish in diverse environments. While colder regions may be inhospitable for younger alligators, older ones can endure extended periods of low temperatures. Consequently, they are capable of migrating over land to find new areas where they can prosper.
Despite the growing alligator population in North Alabama, experts urge residents to maintain a safe distance from these creatures. Although alligators typically avoid human confrontation, unlike crocodiles, it is crucial to recognize that they are wild animals and should be approached with caution and respect.
Alligators have been spotted in the more congested areas as they wonder from the water and hit land. As the population of Huntsville and Madison grow and the range of the gators spread we will see more and more sightings in north Alabama.
To sum up, the surge in alligator sightings at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge in North Alabama can be attributed mainly to the introduction and relocation of alligators to the area and their ability to adapt to different environments, rather than merely social media and increased public interest in exploring the region’s rivers.