US: Where Do Alligators Go When There's a Hurricane?

"Jeopardy!" faces backlash for "distasteful" clue about Gabby Petito murder

  An attorney for the Laundrie family told CBS News they were "appalled."The controversial clue, which aired during Sunday night's episode of "Celebrity Jeopardy!" read, "In 2021 fugitive Brian Laundrie ended his days in Fla.'s Myakkahatchee Creek area, home to these long & toothy critters.

A team at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) has discovered where alligators go when a hurricane hits.

Debris left by Hurricane Ian at Bonita Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida, on November 2, 2022, left, and a picture of an alligator taken by the team at FGCU, right. © Nicky Kemp, Florida Gulf Coast University/EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images Debris left by Hurricane Ian at Bonita Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida, on November 2, 2022, left, and a picture of an alligator taken by the team at FGCU, right.

Using data from tagged alligators that live near the campus, professor of Ecology and Environmental Studies Edwin 'Win' M Everham III, and FGCU senior Nicky Kemp followed the gator's behavior as Hurricane Ian hit southwest Florida earlier this year.

"In this project, we are looking at the interaction between a native apex predator—alligators—and development and human presence," Everham told Newsweek.

A Florida judge blocked Ron DeSantis's Stope WOKE Act for colleges, calling it a 'positively dystopian' violation of free speech

  A Florida judge blocked Ron DeSantis's Stope WOKE Act for colleges, calling it a 'positively dystopian' violation of free speech The judge ruling on the Stop WOKE Act said the 1st Amendment doesn't allow Florida to "muzzle" professors or "impose its own orthodoxy of viewpoints."Chief US District Judge Mark Walker's 138-page order described Florida's attempt to censor certain viewpoints related to race and gender as "positively dystopian" and said it violated free speech.

Starting with seven tagged alligators, one had a radio fail and two lost radios from their attachment. Kemp and Everham continued to monitor the remaining four gators, hoping to better understand their use of the local area.

Though 50 percent of the campus is wetlands and conservation areas, they wanted to understand how the animals navigate the developed landscape—particularly where interactions with humans may occur.

"The main threat to American alligators is the loss of habitat by wetland draining and development," Kemp told Newsweek.

"As Florida's population and developed areas have grown, human and alligator interactions have increased. Understanding how alligators move and behave in such an urban landscape will be incredibly beneficial since there is very little research on alligators in urban landscapes."

B. Smyth, R&B Singer, Dead At 28 From Respiratory Failure

  B. Smyth, R&B Singer, Dead At 28 From Respiratory Failure The "Leggo" singer had a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis, according to his brother. Confirmed by his brother Denzil Smith on Thursday (Nov. 17) through Instagram, he wrote: “Today regretfully I have to announce that my brother has passed away this morning from respiratory failure after a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis. My brother was very excited to see a lot of you create challenges for his latest released single #Twerkoholic part 2 while he was in the ICU, it really brought him a big smile to his face.

When Hurricane Ian hit the area, Everham and Kemp watched closely to see how the gators would react to such a huge change in weather.

"Right before, and after the storm our ability to track was limited, there was too much to do to get ready and then recover," explained Everham. "Of the three we could get data on each day leading to the storm, one was in one of the campus forested wetlands and the other two moved from human-created, storm-water detention ponds to adjacent forested wetlands."

While the sample size in this case is very small, the results suggested that the alligators did react to the change in conditions.

"[This does] indicate they could sense the change in the weather and seek refuge in native systems—perhaps a wind refuge," said Everhsam.

Unfortunately, one female moved back after the hurricane to her pond near the freshman cafeteria which concerned Everham and Kemp.

New red tape will slow philanthropy’s response to crises

  New red tape will slow philanthropy’s response to crises Charities across the country are grappling with rising demand for services stemming from the pandemic, rising inflation rates, and natural disasters such as Hurricane Ian. They are also striving to maintain service levels despite high prices of food, goods, and gas that raise operating costs. The good news is that philanthropic dollars are flexible enough to meet both immediate and long-term needs, but that flexibility will disappear if donors are forced by Congress to accelerate the disbursement of their gifts through donor-advised funds, a popular giving vehicle.

"We have evidence that she is regularly illegally fed [there]," explained Kemp. "We work hard to educate new students on the illegality and danger of feeding alligators and have had students receive tickets on campus, but it's hard to fully fix stupid."

Kemp graduates next month, but the radios and permits should continue through 2023.

"We would like to continue tracking through a complete breeding season, and maybe include some finer temporal scale movement," said Everham.

"Although it would be good for our understanding of the species, we are hoping NOT to have another opportunity to track them during a hurricane."

Related Articles

  • Whale Watcher Left in Hysterics by Man on Beach: 'Stole the Show'
  • Emaciated Whale Starves to Death With 330 lbs of Fishing Gear in Stomach
  • Leopards Maul Two Children to Death in Separate Savage Attacks—Officials

Start your unlimited Newsweek trial

'How about me': Georgia man arrested after he commented on sheriff's office's Facebook post listing area's most wanted fugitives .
Christopher Spaulding had two active warrants for violating probation when he commented on the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office's Facebook post.A photo posted by the county on Facebook shows a door in Fort Myers Beach Elementary School with dark streaks at the top of the door left behind by the storm surge.

See also