CHRISTMAS, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Alligators are on the move in Central Florida and creating problems for some people and animals in their way.
On Friday morning, Shirley Cannan discovered a swan at her animal sanctuary in Christmas had been mortally wounded in her pond. She soon discovered the culprit was also still in her pond: an about 6-foot-long gator.
Shirley said in the 27 years that she has run the Fallin’ Pines Critter Rescue, she has only allowed a few alligators in -- once during a massive brush fire in the late 1990s, but never again. She suspects this gator either climbed her 8-foot fence or used a tree to get over it, but she said she’s never had one just show up like that.
It was a particularly bad situation for Cannan’s sanctuary, as they currently house about 300 animals they have rescued from abusive or neglected situations.
"It's got to go! I have wallabies running free, I have kangaroos running free, I have a muntjac running free,” she said.
Cannan suspects the dry conditions and lack of rain may be the reason the gator came to her pond; which is also unusually dry right now.
Wildlife experts report alligators are already on the move for mating season and that the lack of rain is making things worse as many are also forced to move to find water as well. T hey urge caution to people and pets; especially around any bodies of water right now.