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Taking a break at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is one of the northernmost homes and breeding areas of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

Alligators are carnivores. They can live over 35 years and can grow up to 15 feet. Occasionally, large gators are seen on Alligator River Refuge, but like the gator seen in this photo, sightings of 2-4 foot animals are reported more often.

Alligators can regulate their body temperature by warming in the sun and cooling in the water or shade.

alligator

Tracey Rock photo, courtesy USFWS

During the current coronavirus restrictions, whenever possible, outdoor recreation sites at national wildlife refuges will remain open to the public.

For local conditions, review the information on refuge websites and/or call ahead. At this time, the Manteo Office for the Coastal NC National Wildlife Refuges Complex is staffed for emergency calls and general information. Call 252-473-1131 ext 224 or email alligator_river@fws.gov for information about all refuges in eastern North Carolina.

“If visiting one of our refuges, please ensure public health and safety by following guidance from the CDC and state and local public health authorities,” states USFWS. “You can do this by maintaining social distancing, avoiding overcrowding and exercising good hygiene.”

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