There are alligators on Sanibel as the island’s extensive freshwater wetlands, marshes and swamps provide an ideal habitat for the reptile.
Alligators tend to avoid saltwater, so care should be taken near areas of freshwater, and brackish water where freshwater and saltwater mix. Swimming outside posted swimming areas is not advisable, and swimming at night should be avoided as alligators are more active after dusk. Feeding alligators is illegal and should never be done.
Attacks are rare, but the City of Sanibel’s nuisance alligator program removes alligators that display limited fear of humans or pose a risk to people or pets, especially where they are over four feet in length.