Coastal Carolina University officials responded Wednesday afternoon with updates on the baby alligator that was discovered in Wall Pond on Monday. (Read that story here.)
It seems that it will remain here until it is ready to move on by itself.
Martha Hunn, associate vice president of University Marketing and Communication at CCU, has been in contact with Joey Fowler, the pest control supervisor on campus.
“He has let me know that this has happened before,” said Hunn. “In the past, it happened less frequently (every couple of years), but he says it has been happening more often since Lake Busbee was drained.”
The hope is that the alligator will decide he is ready to go somewhere else without involving someone to remove him.
“Since this alligator is a baby, and wandered here from the river system, it will likely move on, and it needs to have the opportunity to do so,” said Hunn.
While we serve as the gator’s temporary home, it is important to remember a few things.
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SC DNR) website, the most crucial thing to know is not to feed him.
“This is a most important rule as feeding alligators threatens the safety of both people and animals,” said the site. “Providing food for these wild animals (that are naturally afraid of humans) not only makes them bolder and encourages them to seek out people, it also alters their natural diet in an unhealthy way.”
The website also discourages students from feeding the turtles in the pond for the time being, as it could attract the alligator.
Feeding an alligator comes with a $150 fine and up to 30 days in jail. When in doubt, leave it alone.
“They are living organisms that warrant respect and it is not productive to annoy them. Molesting, injuring or killing alligators is punishable by law with fines up to $2,500 and 30 days in jail,” said SC DNR.
If he happens to move away from the pond and on to other parts of campus, keep your distance and call public safety. Alligators rarely chase people, but it is best to remain more than 60 feet away. If he hisses or lunges, you are too close.