LAKE CITY, Fla.-- They're mean, green and according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they can be nuisance machines.
"The tail could get you. It could bite you. We've had issues where people have lost limbs tangling with gators," Karen Parker with the FWC said.
Right now there's an estimated 1 million to 2 million alligators in The Sunshine State, meaning wildlife officials have their hands full. Every county has them, and everywhere you turn, there's a chance you could see one.
"If you've got water in Florida, you probably pretty much have a gator," Parker continued.
Recently, North Florida had its first attack in months. Mike Tennant was working on Lake Jeffrey when an 8 foot, 3 inch beast swam up and bit his calf. He survived, but it was a scary scene for co-workers.
"I don't want to get eaten by a gator. I've seen that leg. I'm not down," Eric Knight said.
FWC has a statewide nuisance alligator program that issues permits to trappers when the reptiles bite or create a threat.
Before it gets to that point, officials suggest not swimming at dawn or dusk, and not letting pets or kids walk near waters, and last but not least, don't try to confront a gator yourself.
"Please call us. We've got gator trappers on staff who have the equipment and the know-how of how to catch these gators."
For tips on living with gators, click here