Alligator population: seeing more in AR?

Alligator population: seeing more in AR?

(KAIT/KARK) - The rising number of alligators being reported is alarming some southeast Arkansans, but Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officials say it's nothing to be concerned about.

According to AGFC Herpetologist Kelly Irwin, the population of alligators is static. Staying between 2,000 and 3,000 animals, way below the over 1 million alligators reported in Florida.

Irwin cites social media when talking about the perception of the gator population.

"Today's social media some things can become over inflated based on one person's posting," Irwin told Little Rock affiliate KARK.

But, you probably can't convince Blake Bell of that after he had his own encounter with an alligator in his backyard. He says he was surprised to see one since he lives on a small mountain.

AGFC officials did relocate the animal from Bell's property to a lake in Arkadelphia. This area is known to have an alligator population.

But Blake still isn't convinced that the number of alligators in the state isn't increasing.

"When you're that close to where these things originate from…they're gonna be here. They don't know where the state line is and they don't stop at the state line," Blake told KARK.

To read more about where the AGFC sees the gator population heading, click here.

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