Florida Laws Regarding Alligators

By Beverly Bird - Updated June 01, 2017
Alligator eyes

Florida is home to roughly 1.3 million alligators, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, so it should come as no surprise that the state has several laws on the books to deal with them. They range from protecting alligators to how you can legally remove one from your property.

The Alligator Management Program

Florida’s Alligator Management Program has five separate divisions, one of which is the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program. Should an alligator come lumbering into your yard, you can call SNAP toll free at 866-FWC-GATOR, and SNAP will send a nuisance alligator trapper to come collect it. But there’s a catch. The gator must be at least 4 feet long before Florida law considers it to officially be a nuisance. The state takes the position that shorter alligators are incapable of causing harm, even to household pets, unless they’re handled. Of course, this can leave you between a rock and a hard place because removing the alligator yourself may involve handling it. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t risk harm. Call SNAP anyway and ask what you should do, or call your local animal control agency.

Laws Regarding Trapping or Killing

It’s a third-degree felony under Florida law to kill or injure an alligator, so don’t try to poison one to get rid of it. It’s also a felony to capture and keep an alligator or its eggs unless you purchase a special alligator trapping or farming license from the state.

About the Author

Beverly Bird has been writing professionally since 1983. She is the author of several novels including the bestselling "Comes the Rain" and "With Every Breath." Bird also has extensive experience as a paralegal, primarily in the areas of divorce and family law, bankruptcy and estate law. She covers many legal topics in her articles.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article