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The Mating Game

If you start noticing soon an unusual booming or bellowing around the island, then you'll know spring mating season for alligators has begun as air temperatures warm and these impressive animals emerge from winter semi-hibernation. To attract females, males produce a low-frequency bellow that can make the water around them ripple, or loudly slap their tails on the water.

Our most ancient neighbors are a conservation success story, once endangered but recently rebounded with habitat restoration, breeding programs and a reduced demand from the fashion industry for their skins, among other factors.

Alligator mississippiensis grows throughout its lifetime, with males reaching over ten feet in length, females - the most devoted of reptilian mothers - somewhat smaller. Alligators have even been observed tool-making, balancing sticks and leaves on their heads to attract nesting birds. You may be seeing these impressive creatures basking on the banks of the lake at Lake House or at many of the lagoons scattered around our island. Alligators can move surprisingly quickly on land, with a sprinting "high walk" over short distances, so admire and respect from a distance!

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