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City to add warning signs after gator attack in South Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE — As housing development increases in the area, the domain of wildlife is invaded.

Sightings of coyotes and red foxes in yards and on streets have become more frequent.

Now, a more deadly creature is making its presence known – alligators.

The most recent incident involved a fatal attack on a dog in South Huntsville in the Hays Farm development. However, the reptile has had a long presence in the Rocket City.

“Alligators have long been seen near residential areas in Huntsville particularly along Zierdt Road in West Huntsville,” said City Councilwoman Dr. Jennie Robinson. “They have also been seen in the Byrd Spring Swamp which lies just west of the South Parkway.

“Now that residential development is going in next to the Byrd Spring Swamp, those alligators are becoming more visible.”

Robinson’s South Huntsville district includes the Hays Farm area.

“When the first alligator was seen a few years ago, signs were posted warning residents not to approach or feed the alligators,” she said. “More signs have been posted to remind residents that they live near a swamp and need to be cautious about going into the water. The Alabama Fish and Wildlife Department controls any efforts to relocate alligators.”

The city said has notified the Fish and Wildlife Department about the attack.

“Wildlife coexists with us throughout the city and surrounding areas,” the city said in a statement. “It’s important for citizens and homeowners to be aware of the types of wildlife in their particular area and notify us when they have concerns about hazards related to such animals. In this case, the citizen did notify us and we have been working with Alabama Fish & Wildlife, which has jurisdiction over this type of animal.”

Huntsville City Councilman Bill Kling believes the city will address the issue further.

“I expect that there will be discussion about this at next Thursday’s City Council meeting,” he said.

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