Officials: Higher temps mean heightened alligator activity - FOX 13 News

Officials: Higher temps mean heightened alligator activity

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Warm weather is bringing early alligator activity in Florida.

This year, unseasonably warm temperatures have brought an early surge of alligators, wildlife officials say. March 1 signals the start of alligators' most active period, which extends through early November.  Mating season runs from April through June. 

The last time anyone in Florida was killed by an alligator was in 2007.  A suspected car burglar fleeing the police jumped into a pond.  That's when a 9-foot alligator seized him. 

The long stretch without a fatal attack set a new record. However, wildlife experts don't expect the death-free span to go on forever. 

There were two attacks in 2012 that could have easily become fatalities, in which each victim lost an arm.  In 2006, there were a series of horrific attacks. Alligators killed three people in less than a week.

Classified as an endangered species in 1967, the alligator rebounded in the 1970s, and the state reinstated hunting in 1988.

Today, wildlife expert estimate there are more than 1.3 million alligators in Florida.

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