LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (FOX 13) - It's alligator mating season, which means more wandering alligators, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife officers, and one Florida family captured a wandering gator's journey around the perimeter of their home on their home surveillance cameras.
Katie Flesche says her neighbor in the Lakewood Ranch subdivision spotted the alligator in the neighbhorhood March 27 while her family was away on vacation, so she decided to check the surveillance video.
Sure enough, the alligator is seen coming out of the pond behind their home, coming up through the side of the yard, through the front yard, and hanging around in the driveaway before making its way around the perimeter on the other side of the home and back into the pond.
Flesche said she knows there's a gator in the pond, but has never in her five years seen one outside the water.
"My 3 kids run around those areas with the 10 other kids on our block every day - playing tag or catch or whatever - crazy," she said.
According to FWC, alligators begin their "courtship" in early April, with mating occurring between May and June. Experts say warmer weather helps motivate the cold-blooded animals to starting moving around more, too. This is the time of year when trappers get the most calls to catch nuisance gators.
"Males are on the move searching for females. Males are pushing smaller males out of their territories, and those smaller ones are out looking for new spots," said Karina Paner, trapper and director at Croc Encounters in Tampa.
In the meantime, expect to see more alligators around as their "season of love" gets underway.