Kayak and gator in NC coastal river

This was July 2020. I guess this old gator was feeling territorial. I’ve canoed this river numerous times and you see them but never think about this happening. This was inland of Wilmington, NC and we do have some real big ones around here. Alligator attacks North Carolina kayaker - YouTube

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Yeow! Unbelievable! Awesome recovery.

Wow! That must have been quite a scare! Glad he was able to brace and recover as quick as he did!

The gator could have felt trapped and was trying to get under the boat. I’ve had that happen and the gator ran into the boat. It was a 3 footer.
But it’s spring and mammas of most species can get aggressive if they perceive a threat.


Yeah…um…you can keep those things down there.

There are some benefits to living where the winter air hurts your face lol


I had a grey seal do that to me in a lake 2 years ago without the contact. It came up behind us and pushed a big wake of water. It sure got the blood pumping.


This was in June and late for mating. In a narrow river but it is the only time around here I have heard of one becoming defensive or aggressive depending on your view. I have zero tolerance for them. Dogs swimming in the river around here big chance. Just north one came out of the river and killed an elderly lady walking her dog. We have way too many and other areas of the country have way more…

I lived in Charlevoix, MI for 4 years. From what I remember the cold water was a lot more dangerous. But the rivers and canoes were made for each other. I had a blast there

Scary stuff. I’ll stick to cold water. It’s easier to dress for than bites.

Is the state doing anything for their population control after the attack on the elderly woman?

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Yes I’ll keep enjoying my lake effect snows, you guys keep the gators n pythons n stuff mmkay?

Just this year they issued tags to take about 100. When they were put on the endangered list it was a huge mistake. A couple of years later they admitted it but it was too late. Now we have them everywhere and heaven forbid if you touch one, even one thats hanging around your house. Sometimes you have to take matters in your own hand. They will do nothing if you kill every copperhead you see. That was another thing I loved about northern Michigan. I could walk through the woods and along the streams fly fishing without regard to anything. Wintertime you go snowmobiling, perfect


Nice recovery. People need to understand the current range of alligators so they know what to expect and not get surprised by them. Know the country you paddle in.

Over 50 years I go I did a day trip in the Everglades with a rented boat and outboard motor. It took longer than expected to return and we came in the last couple of miles in the dark. Gators were not common then but saw at least 50 pairs of red eyes with a flashlight. It was amazing and surprised all of us. Know your country so you do not get surprised.

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My grandfather hunted gators in central Florida. They used dogs for bait to get the gators within shotgun range.
I paddled the Myakka once at low water and gators lined the banks. Most took off as soon as they saw us but there were a couple monsters who looked to me like they were deciding if we were crunchy on the outside with a soft middle.


I lived in coastal Mississippi for a couple of years in the mid-90s and kayaked regularly–off the beach into the bayou in my backyard, off the beach a mile away into the Mississippi Sound (approx 10 mile wide water extending out to the barrier islands) and off the barrier islands into the Gulf. A few observations:

  • We had plenty of gators–in the bayou adjoining our lot, there were at least 3 ranging 10-13 foot in size, which we could see when they were hauled out. The head, which is what you usually see, is only about 10% or less of their total length–so 1 foot long head is a 10 or 11 ft long gator–more than big enough to be a real problem
  • There remains a myth that they don’t go after people. This is a legacy belief left over from decades ago when they had been heavily hunted and depopulated. After a few decades of restricted hunting, there are a lot more of them, a lot more big ones, and a lot more unafraid ones. They are not to be taken lightly.
  • I had one come at me (on the surface–so question if it was a real attack, which would presumably have been launched submerged), but it was fast, direct, and sustained. Fortunately, I was in a much more open space and in a much faster kayak than the fellow in this video, and was able to outrun it
  • They were observed swimming out from the mainland to the barrier islands–10 miles of at least brackish, and mostly salty water crossing
    This fellow was lucky–if it had latched onto his arm and pulled him under, he would have been finished

Gators are still here on the Gulf Coast. You and I can laugh at the many folks who say “gators do not go in salt water”. It is always fun to paddle out to Cat, Ship, or Horn Island and see obvious gator tracks in the sand on the barrier islands 7 to 12 miles “offshore”. We chose our camping spots wisely.

Going gator watching is fun IF you see them first. I also choose to avoid the quiet, secluded waters such as the NC gator scare video from June thru October.

The danger with most gators is if humans have been feeding them as then they associate us with food. That is dangerous for both us and the gator as Fish & Wildlife will take out any nuisance gators (ones that continually approach people).

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I was in a narrow channel in the Okefenokee with a friend up front. The banks were higher, eye level.

A six-footer jumped from our right, going left, right over our bow and in front of my buddy’s head. LOL

Oh, to have gotten that on vid! (It was long enough ago, kids, that all I had was something called a film camera with a shutter -ask your grandparents!)

We never saw him until he was airborne flying over our canoe.

Yeah. It got the adrenaline going. Of course, the old joke about not having to outswim the gator, and only outswimming my friend came about almost immediately.:rofl::laughing:

You sure they weren’t crocodiles? Seen those in the Gulf in the Everglades. Gators in brackish to fresh.

here is a meal probably for the month.

I had a beaver do that once.

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Nearest croc is approximately 500 miles to the SE in a direct line from the MS Gulf Coast region which we are writing about.

Gators can occasionally be found in salt water from Texas to the Carolinas. Some are probably swept out on river flows so they make due and are an anomaly in highly salt environments.

However where barrier islands are present, salinity levels are slightly lower which gators seem to tolerate. My guess is they visit the barrier islands seeking better areas to feed. I’ve seen big gator tracks and smaller ones too which indicates breeding populations over the past 60+ years of visiting the local barrier islands.