Warmer weather means Florida's gator season begins

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It’s a familiar time of year in Florida, when more alligators are spotted throughout the state. 

During the spring, when temperatures begin to rise in the sunshine state, American alligators become much more active since their metabolism begins to increase, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Gators and their young ones have already been spotted, including at Circle B Bar Reserve south of Lakeland.

Serious injuries caused by the alligators are rare, they said, but there are precautions every resident and tourist should take, such as swimming in designated areas during the daylight hours, keeping pets on a leash and away from water, and keeping your distance if you see a gator. Feeding them is just as dangerous, and illegal.

Courtship for alligators typically begins in early April. Mating typically occurs in May or June when females build a nest of soil, vegetation or debris to lay up to 46 eggs by late June or early July.