Don't feed the alligators!

Reported by Max Winitz bio|email
Posted by Heather Setzler bio|email

SHALLOTTE, NC (WECT) - As the warm weather approaches, the chance of seeing alligators is high, even in ponds located at golf courses and apartment complexes.

In fact, a seven-foot gator has recently moved into a retention pond at the Cardinal Point Apartment Complex in Shallotte. Neighbors tell WECT that they have seen people throwing rocks at it and even feeding it.

Experts say feeding alligators is a bad idea. As a result, they could lose their fear in humans, become more tame, and possibly attack.

"If you are going to feed them, they know that when they see a person, they are going to get something to eat," said Sherry Tregembo with Tregembo Animal Park. "They are just like a dog or cat in that sense. They relate humans as food, and that's a dangerous combination with alligators."

Several states issue fines if you are caught feeding an alligator, but North Carolina is not one of them.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.