ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is warning people to be on the lookout for alligators in this dry and warm weather.
DNR officials are receiving four to five calls a week of reported alligator sightings across southwest Georgia. According to officials, alligators are typically active in warm weather, but the dry weather is causing more activity than usual.
The dry weather causes bodies of water to dry out, forcing alligators to leave their natural habitat and roam about yards and neighborhoods in search of a new home.
They said drivers should be on alert during this time, as alligators are known to cross roadways which can be a dangerous situation.
"Unlike a deer, in daytime, they're very visible but at nighttime they're not quite as visible because they're laying in the road and if you have a big enough one and hit it with your car, it can cause some serious damage," said Alan Isler.
With 250,000 alligators estimated to live in Georgia, the chances of coming across one are highly likely.
"In southwest Georgia, if there's a body of water somewhere around stop and look across the pond, you'll probably see one. Because if you got a pond in your backyard, and you don't have an alligator, you will have one eventually, because they are very common in south Georgia," Isler said.
Isler reminded people to leave alligators alone if one is spotted. They view humans as a threat and will usually leave on their own.
Officials also strongly urge people not to feed alligators. It can decrease their fear of humans, making them more likely to attack, though attacks remain rare.