Any encounter with these dangerous creatures should be taken seriously. These cold-blooded reptiles are especially dangerous in the spring because as the weather warms they become more active in their search for mates and food. These searches often take them great distances, out of their natural habitat and into human territory.
While alligators are relatively timid creatures and will often retreat when confronted by a human, those that have lost their fear of humans many become aggressive. It is best to avoid confrontations when at all possible. Never feed an alligator. Do not let pets or small children wander near the edge of ponds or lakes. Likewise, wading or splashing in ponds or lakes should be avoided.
The best places to see an alligator up close is an attraction or zoo. Gatorland, known as the Alligator Capital of the World near Disney World is a great little attraction that has been serving up "great gator tales" for nearly 50 years.