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Florida Predators Fun Facts

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You may encounter large wild predators when observing fish. Alligators and sharks are the obvious predators to look out for in Florida waterways, there are a few others that are more rare but existing. In south Florida it is possible to encounter a florida panther or an american crocodile. There are confirmed sightings and UF research studies regarding packs of Florida coyotes in the Ocala National Forest. Black bears are present in all wild areas of Florida. These predators will all be drawn to the water where the fish and life are.

Fun Facts

  • There are about 150 florida panthers left.
  • There are over 2000 american crocodiles around the Florida Keys. (http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2013-12-22/news/fl-crocodiles-return-20131222_1_crocodile-lindsey-hord-alligator)
  • Florida has more shark incidents than anywhere else in the world.
  • GPS tagging of great whites has confirmed that large great whites do patrol behind the breakers of the north florida beaches from Jacksonville to Saint Augustine. (http://staugustine.com/news/2013-01-08/huge-great-white-shark-tracked-jacksonville-beach#.UruiBvs17D4)
  • Florida has many large sharks that saltwater fish observers should be familiar with including the great white, hammerhead, and bull shark.
  • Bull sharks, hammerheads, and alligators can be found in brackish inland waterways and salt marshes.
  • There are no predator-free large bodies of water in or near florida.
  • While alligator and shark attacks are extremely rare, the odds are much higher when you are in their territory.
  • Water holes and streams are used by land predators like bears and coyotes.

Be Prepared for Predators

You should carry a gun in large predator territory, but don't shoot anything unless your life is in danger and you cannot escape. You are visiting their home. Don't put your life in danger by getting to pushy. When you see a large predator give it a lot of space or go back the way you came. You should warn other hikers or kayakers about large predators in the immediate area. If you are in the water, get to shore quickly and calmly. There are great tips in this complete kayaker's guide for dealing with water preditors from topkayaker.net. Reading about survivor stories such as the alligator attack of kayacker Sarah Boynton in the news is good way to learn how to avoid predators also.



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