Floridians warned about increase in bear, snake and alligator sightings

American Alligator swimming in the spring swamp

Photo: Getty Images

Fort Myers, FL - Officials are warning residents that alligator, bear and snake sightings may be more frequent in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

According to a Facebook post by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, major storms like Hurricane Ian can cause wildlife to be more active, warning Floridians "you may be more likely to see alligators, snakes and bears, so remember to stay alert and give them space."

Although alligator sightings in Florida are common, wildlife officials say they may be more frequent in flooded areas after a hurricane or tropical storm.

The department wrote "as with all wildlife, treat alligators with respect, keep them at a distance and give them space."

Bear sightings may also be more frequent as well, as bears take advantage of the easy access to food that can be scattered among debris.

Snakes may be seen where flood waters are high, however experts say most snakes encountered will likely be nonvenomous.

Wildlife officials warned "to avoid snake bites, leave snakes alone, stay out of tall grass unless you wear thick boots, and keep hands and feet out of areas you can’t see.”

FWC encourages anyone with issues or conflicts with animals to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC.

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