A video has been spreading through social media of an Orlando resident trapping an alligator in a trash can. Along with the potential for injuring himself and the legality of handling alligators (don’t do it). This only brought one big question to my mind: What is he going to do next? Never, ever, ever handle wildlife yourself and call a professional.
With unwanted wildlife visitors you do have options in Florida and the best step is to contact a professional. A nuisance alligator is defined as being over 4′ long and poses a threat to humans, pets, or property. If the animal fits this criteria, call 1-866-392-4286 (1-800-FWC-GATOR) to report your concerns. Some tips with living near alligators include never to feed them, be aware of their potential presence near any body of water, and never handle or hold them, no matter the size. Intentionally feeding or possessing an alligator is prohibited in the state of Florida.
For alligators smaller than 4′ that pose a threat, or other nuisance wildlife, contact a licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator. One in your area can be found here: https://public.myfwc.com/hgm/nwt/nwtsearch.aspx
For more information on dealing with alligators, check out the UF/IFAS Extension fact sheet at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/UW/UW39300.pdf
Trapping any wildlife on your property can be dangerous and you are not allowed to release them on any public lands. In fact, relocated wildlife often do not survive and for either protected species such as gopher tortoises or invasive species like armadillos, it is illegal. For injured or potentially orphaned wildlife, do not attempt to aid them yourself and contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A listing of those organizations can be found here: https://myfwc.com/media/5423/licensedwildliferehabilitatorsbyregion.pdf or contact your regional Fish and Wildlife Commission Office here: https://myfwc.com/contact/fwc-office/regional-offices/
If you have any questions about nuisance wildlife, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.