Expert: Increased gator sightings not uncommon this time of year

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - First Folly Beach, then Tanger Outlets: the popular spots for people are suddenly visited by alligators.

John Newland of Charleston's Critter Control says recent sightings of alligators aren't that unusual.

Some alligators are hunting for a mate in late spring and early summer, Newland says, while others are just trying to warm up in the sunshine.

According to Newland, recent development projects are also adding to the gator sightings.

Newland says his company has already answered more than 30 gator-related calls this year, and recommends that onlookers enjoy the view from a safe distance.

"They're not usually aggressive unless you go up to them and start messing with them," Newland said. "Just stay away from them."

Two weeks ago, a gator was caught hanging out on Folly Beach. Earlier this month, a massive gator in Georgetown County was spotted just trying to get to the other side.

And then there's Tuesday, where shoppers at the North Charleston Tanger Outlets spotted a gator crawling along.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, late spring and early summer are mating season.

Experts say alligators six feet or larger pose the biggest threat. Most can grow up to 15 feet long.

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