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A Gator’s Tale

A Gator’s Tale

BY TONY REHAGEN

Howdy, neighbor. I know you see me; spotted my v-shaped wake cutting across the pond before I even broke the surface. But there’s no reason to be afraid. Your kind and mine have coexisted for hundreds of years, pretty peacefully for the last few decades. We help each other. We gators are apex predators, regulating island populations of pesky deer, raccoons, and rodents. In return, you humans—especially important on Jekyll—mostly respect and preserve the wetlands and marshes that have been our home for millennia. Just remember, the key to this symbiosis is space. Don’t feed us or try to touch us. Keep your pets on a leash, lest we mistake them for prey. And if we accidentally wander into your territory, call the authorities. Remember, we’re always here, even if you don’t immediately spot us. Just look for the wake.

This article first appeared in Volume 6 Number 1 of 31•81, the Magazine of Jekyll Island.

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