Local wildlife experts say alligators prey on anything smaller than them

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 07:11:54-04

Some Tulsa residents are shocked by the fatal alligator attack outside a Walt Disney World Resort.

"That's disturbing, that's my son's age," said Chris Bergeron. 

He and his wife brought their two-year-old boy to the Tulsa Zoo, which has American alligators behind glass.

"I think it's easy for us as parents to get complacent, oh it's just water, nothing is going to happen," said Katelyn Bergeron, "And then it's just a freak accident."

Fatal alligator attacks are rare, but can happen quickly. These wild animals are at the top of the food chain.

"A gator does not chase their prey, they'll sit at the water's edge and float for hours and not move a muscle," said Lori Ensign-Scroggins, the founder of Safari's Sanctuary Founder.

She says alligators tend to pray on anything smaller than them.

"They're not afraid of a small kid. Big humans they usually run from," said Scroggins.

You won't find any alligators in any Tulsa-area lakes, but these wild animals do live in the southeast part of the state.

If you're planning to vacation in an area where there are known alligators, the zoo's reptile curator advises to stay away from the shoreline at night.