Are There Alligators In Galveston, TX?

Are There Alligators In Galveston, TX?

Picture it: You’re out enjoying the early morning weather, jogging through Galveston’s Seawall Urban Park. Maybe you’re out for a romantic evening stroll on the beach. The last thing you’d expect to see in either scenario is an alligator, of all things. And yet, the island has seen an uptick in gator activity in recent months.

Across much of the United States, people are likely more worried about their chances of sustaining a dog bite injury compared to running into an alligator. But in some places, the risks of an alligator attack are, indeed, higher. 

The following states are known to have sizable wild alligator populations:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Texas

The three highest populations of alligators can be found in Louisiana, Florida, and Texas, respectively, with the population in Texas estimated at roughly 400,000. 

That, then, raises the questions of why alligator sightings in Galveston are on the rise and what residents in the area can do to avoid run-ins with these dangerous creatures. Below is everything you need to know.

Can Alligators Survive in Saltwater?

Alligators typically live in freshwater environments, as they lack glands that would allow them to filter the salt in saltwater out of their bodies. Juvenile gators are intolerant of salt water, but fully grown adults can stand it for short periods. As such, they won’t stop themselves from swimming around in saltwater areas, like the section of the Gulf Coast surrounding Galveston.

Alligators may prowl around saltwater beaches for a couple of reasons. For one, they like to eat seafood, including fish, turtles, and especially the blue crabs commonly found in the waters surrounding Galveston. They’ve been known to go after land animals, though, including pets, in areas where alligator territories overlap with civilization. 

They may also slip into saltwater for a bit to eliminate freshwater parasites or to cool off when the air temperature rises.

Reasons for the Uptick in Alligators Around Galveston

Alligator sightings are generally more prevalent during certain times of the year. For example, you’re more likely to see increased activity between the beginning of March and the end of May, when mating season occurs. Females like to establish a breeding and nesting territory, so it’s not unusual to see increased movement as they search for suitable locations.

Weather can also be a major contributing factor to alligator movement. Storm activity is a great example. Although Galveston only received a few inches of rain from May storms, rainfall in the north created conditions that caused flood waters to flow into Galveston Bay, which may have pushed some alligators into the area from the nearby wildlife preserve in Sabine Pass. The problem is the fact that they are somewhat more comfortable in the brackish bay waters than the saltier ocean water.

In some cases, alligator activity in populated areas can also be due to humans feeding alligators or even keeping them as pets. Doing so is only legally allowed with an Alligator Farmer Permit in the State of Texas. If you suffer an alligator attack on a property where they’re being kept, legally or illegally, you may have a case for premises liability.

Protecting Yourself From Harm

Whether you encounter alligators in the wild or in a controlled setting, there are steps you can take to avoid personal injury. First and foremost, never approach or feed such wildlife on land or in the water. Don’t agitate alligators, attempt to catch them, or let your pets near them, either. Stay away from their nests, even if you don’t see any alligators nearby. 

When you behave with caution, you have the best chance to avoid harm and preserve the diverse ecosystem that makes Galveston, Texas, such a great place to live.

Contact the Texas Personal Injury Lawyers of The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

Please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers to get a free initial consultation today. We have offices in Friendswood and Galveston, Texas. Call us at (281) 992-8633.

The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers – Galveston
2101 Mechanic St. Suite 253
Galveston, TX 77550

The Law Firm of Alton C. Todd Personal Injury Lawyers – Friendswood
312 S. Friendswood Dr.
Friendswood, TX 77546