Dicky's Doodles &Scribbles

Cartoons,editorials and comment about current events and more.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

'Gator Attacks No Mystery

The recent fatal alligator attacks in Florida have the media going a bit on the sensational side. Headlines such as " Deadly Gator Attacks Puzzle Florida Officials," or "Officals Puzzled Over 'Gator Attacks," seem to be a bit over the top.Though tragic these attacks are no mystery. As is the case in most human-wild animal encounters the cause may be traced to one major factor, shrinking wild life habitat. As more areas are developed and settled on by humans wildlife gets squeezed harder. Conflict is bound to occur.Most of the time these conflicts result in the animals losing the bouts.More and more endangered species will become extinct, hardly noticed by the humans who displaced them.When these conflicts involve large predators the humans don't always win, as in these recent cases. There have been several recent human encounters with bears and mountain lions as well. Until last week, there were 17 fatal alligator attacks in Florida since records were begun in 1948. Other factors may be involved in these recent attacks. It is mating season and dry weather is also shrinking the alligators' normal environments.Alligators have also made a remarkable recovery from near extinction 25 years ago or so."When you have more predators in a place than you usually do and when they're hungrier than they usually are, that's when you get
unusual behavior," says Frank Mazzotti, a wildlife scientist at the University of Florida. It is also a good idea to exercise some caution and common sense when in areas populated by large predators.


At 3:10 AM , Blogger Tina said...

Dicky: Absolutely it is caused by shrinking natural habitats for gators, mountain lions, bears, etc. Of course it is terrible when a human is attacked and/or killed. Beyond a shadow of a doubt it is terrible, but they are animals. HUNGRY animals. Hungry animals with animal drives and instincts.


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