How dangerous are alligators in Florida?

American alligators at The Land in EPCOT (Photo by Todd DeFeo, reprinted with permission)

( — So, just how dangerous are alligators in Florida?

A 2-year-old toddler was apparently snatched by an alligator this week at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa near the Magic Kingdom, according to published reports. While tragic, numbers indicate bites are relatively rare.

Here are some facts about alligators:

  • There are an estimated 1.3 million wild alligators in Florida
  • Alligators are found in all 67 counties in Florida
  • Female alligators rarely exceed 10 feet in length, while male alligators can grow larger
  • The Florida state length record was a male alligator that measured a 14 feet, 3.5 inches long; it was taken from Lake Washington in Brevard County
  • The Florida state weight record was 1,043 pounds, a male that measured 13 feet, 10.5 inches long from Orange Lake in Alachua County
  • There have been more than 383 alligator bites of humans since 1948, 257 of which were considered major
  • At least 23 people have been killed in Florida by an alligator since 1973
  • Since 1948, when the first severe bite of a person was recorded, there have been roughly five unprovoked bites every year, but the rate is increasing at a rate of 3 percent every year
  • The likelihood of a Florida resident being seriously injured during an unprovoked alligator attack is approximately 1 in 2.4 million
  • In 2007, there were 13,000 nuisance alligator complaints, and 10,000 alligators were removed

Source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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Sightseers’ Delight started publishing in June 2016. The site, published by The DeFeo Groupe, collects and curates content about places where historical events large and small happened. The site builds off the legacy of The Travel Trolley, which launched in June 2009. The site aimed to be a virtual version of the trolley tours offered in so many cities.