This is a story about my state, this is where I have resided for the past 45 or so years. And it speaks to the things you probably are not aware of.  It’s about things no one told you about Florida, especially the real estate people.  

And we are a state with the state bird, the Mockingbird.  Who in their right mind in the Florida Legislature made the Mockingbird the State bird?  

Pick the Pelican, stupid or the Egret.  It took a while to learn why the Mockingbird was selected.  It represents our politicians, it was named after our bribed bought off corrupt representatives of the people, the people who bribe them with money. True, they are a mockery.

Even the Alligator is better qualified.  Scientists tell us the ancient Dinosaurs actually evolved into birds, thus cutting out 50 million years or so and since Gators eat a lot of birds, I assumed it should be our state bird.  I vote for the Gator, winner take all…feed the politicians to them.

Someone once asked me are Gators that dangerous?  GATORS DANGEROUS, no only to idiots!  They are our state treasure.  Generally, They won’t bother you while boating, fishing or skiing in the Florida swamps.  The are best defined as curious, cunning, focused, ambush hunters.  

Around humans most of the time these lazy critters are just looking for a handout from the human subculture “Homominus Bidiotosis”.  They are the morons who feed them marshmallows which just makes them more comfortable around man.  Then the handout can become a hand.  
By the way gators think hands taste like chicken.

Just avoid the nests around mating season, don't look for lost golf balls near the edge of the water and don't walk "Fluffy" at the waters edge.  
Gators think “Fluffy" tastes like chicken. 

A hand isn't worth a Titleist nor a Noodle and watch out when swimming in inland lakes. It's a territorial thing. And they were here first. Gators aren't the only things we have to be aware of in our state, you’ll soon see.


Our Jurassic friends, some of the first settlers in Florida since they appeared during the Oligocene epoch about 37 million years ago come in two flavors worldwide.  The American Alligator and the Chinese Alligator. In Florida however we have the American Gator plus two other members of the Crocodilian Family.  The Salt Water Crocodile common in some estuaries and the Caiman introduced from South America by pet stores.

Thus three common types with teeth exist in Florida, with a lust for food and one pseudo branding sport gator, with lots of noise, the Florida Gators who are football fans.  Some when inebriated are thrown into tanks just like gators.

The only other Gator specie in the world is the very rare Chinese Alligator, smaller in size, about three quarters the size of the American version whereas the record for an American Gator is 19 feet and the oldest known Gator which was donated as a yearling to a German Zoo is known to be 76 years old.  Weinersnitzel must be good for you.   

The Chinese alligator currently is found only in the Yangtze River valley and is extremely endangered, with only a few dozen believed to be left in the wild. Indeed, far more Chinese alligators live in zoos around the world than can be found in the wild.  So far no travel visas have been issued and the Chinese culture saw them as a food source and voila, few alive.  

In review, the real gator can be confused being with Salt Water Crocodiles, the Southern Gator and the Caiman.  Caiman were those cute pets sold as Gators in our pet stores. Usually overfed they grew quickly.  When they ate the family pet or took a finger, they all too often get the short ride to the glades or flushed into the sewer system. Surprise, they lived. Sewers have water that goes for miles and rats.  Home sweet home.  They hunt a lot at night so dark is OK.  

Caiman, think of them as a Gator in ripping shape with an aggressive attitude of a Crocodile. They only cause harm when people interfere with their lifestyle, which is to eat anything with fur or skin, dead or alive, moves or makes a noise. The ad said they make great pets, they forgot to ad “ who like other pets or small children”.

They were not native to Florida, but imported from S.A. as cute pets in the sixties.  The difference between the three is evident.  The Alligator has a wide face and articulates his upper jaw with incredible strength to close it. Not so strong to open it. Thus the duct tape or electricians tape you see in all those TV shows to secure them when trapped. 

The Crocodile can articulate his lower jaw opposite to the alligator.  The Caiman can articulate and move his upper and lower jaw.  The Aliigator is more laid back than either the Crocodile or Caiman.  The Caiman wins the nasty award.

Most common attacks, realistically, the Gator is our official trash and unleashed dog law enforcer.  In residential areas he is the reminder not to leave your dog unleashed, near the waters edge, or wandering around.  

Leash laws in Florida do exist, but they are not heeded too, nor enforced strongly enough.  Besides, Gators don't read, and some humans don’t read signs either.   

Yes, stupidity exists, it's rampant and is doing well amongst some of our not too bright pet owners.  Cats are smarter, they don’t like water and our feral cat population (over 100,000 in our county) has not been diminished by the gator population. Cars get cats, yes, Coyotes, yes, Cat HIV yes, Gators no.  
Maybe cats taste like cats and not chicken.

Soon we'll have to put the Gators on Lipitor with all the sugar and carbs they are getting. DO NOT FEED THE GATOR!  First it’s illegal and recently our fish and game people issued tickets.  Arms, legs, pets and chicken parts look the same to the Gator.  His walnut size brain has one function.  Not much you can do with a walnut so it’s 100% dedicated to food and body control - temperature determines what Alligators do. 
Gators think people taste like chicken and a hell of a lot better than bread.

Unfortunately as things run in cycles, last year was a bad year for Gator fatalities. Three definite fatal Gator attacks on a swimmer, a gal walking real close to the edge of the water and another Gal with her legs dangling in the water off a dock. These attacks in urban neighborhoods stem from two things. Compression of the Gators habitat and the idiots that feed them while walking their dogs. 

They loose their fear of humans and associate humans as a food source.  An animal with hundreds of pounds of body weight and a brain the size of a walnut doesn't differentiate. Those canines will crush anything after he drowns it. And he is capable of a burst of speed faster than a human can react. 35MPH. They are ambush predators lying just below the surface at the edge of the water and can cover fifteen feet in less than two seconds. They think poodles taste like chicken and people taste like poodles who taste like chicken.


A popular Central Florida tourist attraction could face fines after a tour boat filled with riders began taking on water in alligator infested water.  The boat at Jungle Adventures Nature Park in Christmas, FL  was carrying more than a dozen people Saturday, many of them children, when it started to sink.   Terrified riders said water started coming into the back of the boat so the guide told them to head to the front while he pushed the boat back to shore with a pole. One stranded passenger said they were all very scared and they even spotted alligators by the boat.  Investigators say there were no life jackets on the boat. Right now the cruise ride is closed down.


Happens all the time: Someone did feed the “pet” Gator last week in a trailer park.  The folks that live there thought the nine footer was harmless. They got the guys arm back (so much for stories of the arm that feeds you) so he could be buried in one piece.  Gators drown their victims. They got the gator and the mans arm back, so he could be buried whole.

You would have better luck smoking in a dynamite factory.  In the wild the Gator is the top of the food chain except for man and many restaurants who serve farm grown gator, quite good I might add.  It’s got a slight but not gamier taste than chicken. Don’t overcook it.  Tastes more like rattlesnake than Chicken unless you get them free ranging chickens.  We have dirt-fed free-road kill chickens here. 

After Hurricane "Fay".... With water as high as three feet deep covering a good part of the state, and 40 million dollars of damage, one group did benefit from all the rain. The Gators ( not the football team) are thinking main street is their new turf while surveying millions of dollars damage. The Gator Lobbyists are claiming victory for mother nature in returning all this nice land the developers ruined when they turned the state into the Condo-Congo.  Leave them alone, give them a birth, avoid them during the mating season and we’ll all sing Kum-Ba-Ya around the fire missing no one.