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Wildlife groups dismiss claims of alligators in Lake Martin

It seems that alligators have been all over the news in Alabama lately. From being spotted in North Alabama creeks to hunters in Mobile hauling in almost 13-foot-long specimens, there has been no shortage of news involving the animals.

A member of the Lake Martin Boaters Facebook group posted about her recent experience and sighting of one of the reptiles at the lake.

“I wish I had my phone with me to take a video this morning. We are on Parker Creek between two sloughs near Bolton Cove area across from Smith’s Marina. I was up early at about 6:30, my father and I saw an alligator swim about 20 feet off of our pier very fast,” the post said. “I was worried at first that it was someone’s dog and that they might not know how to get out of the lake… so I ran to the end of the pier to look and it was definitely an alligator, all you could really see is his head and the wake from his head as he glided through the water quickly to the bank on the other side.

“In nearly 38 years, I have never seen an alligator at the lake… Is anyone else seeing them in the Parker Creek area?”

However, according to to travelsafe-abroad.com, there are no substantiated accounts of alligators in the lake.

“While there are no confirmed alligators in the lake, every few years, there are reports of gators being spotted, which are quickly dismissed by local wildlife groups,” read the site. “In May 2022, reports of a deer-eating, 14-foot alligator being on the loose in Lake Martin, but the Alabama Forestry Commission said this was false information.

“The only possibility that a gator could get into the lake is if a resident kept it as a pet, then released the reptile into the wild when it grew to be too large.”

David McGirt, CEO of LMDC, a construction company that focuses on creating and purchasing marine construction firms working on freshwater lakes, discussed the possibility of alligators within the lake.

“I believe Lake Martin technically meets the needs of an alligator to live in the area – water temps, food availability, and nesting locations,” he said. “However, I believe the boating activity level at the lake would not make it the first choice of an alligator.”

McGirt also said the “alligators” people are seeing are more than likely beavers.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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