DNR Says Gator Will Stay in Sammy Swamp

The DNR says a Clarendon County alligator will stay in the neighborhood.

"They've been here for years, long before we were here," DNR 1st Sgt Hunter Robinson said.

This alligator was sighted just last week and has Silver residents worried about their safety.

Robinson with the DNR says there's nothing to fear.

"If you just give them their space and look at them from a distance they're not going to bother people," Robinson said.

But, not everyone feels that way

"Alligators don't stay put, they travel to people's houses," Silver resident Azalee Williams-Kinard said.

When you think of the Midlands, you don't think of gators.

Robinson said Clarendon County is somewhat of an exception.

"They can travel up and down those river systems, so they can get up here, but generally they go where there's the best habitat, best food and obviously they've got to have the warmer weather," he said.

And just because it's an animal, doesn't mean it's not entitled to certain rights.

"It is against the law to feed an alligator, it's against the law to possess an alligator," he said. "You can't harass them. You can't hunt them unless you have a permit and it has a certain season in the state because we do have a sustainable population on the coastal areas."

Some residents say they want the gator captured, but that would require it to be considered a nuisance.

"If it's a safety hazard then that would be the time we'd have to remove it and relocate it somewhere along those lines, but other than that they generally live in their habitat. If we don't feed them, or entice them, we can get along with them fine," Robinson said.

If you have an alligator that is causing a safety hazard, you can call the DNR to remove them. That information is here.


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