Advisory Issued After Possible Alligator Sighting at a Kentucky Park
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. The iconic movie line that goes, "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water" is from Jaws and refers to sharks and the OCEAN.
Well, with a tip of the hat to author Peter Benchley, who wrote it, I think we can now use it to describe certain waters in Kentucky--the "waters" found at Mike Miller County Park in Marshall County.
You know, this weekend when we actually drove PAST Mike Miller County Park, I had no idea we were possibly very near an ALLIGATOR. Then again, why would ANYONE think that in Kentucky? Time to update the types things I expect from the Bluegrass State.
Well, sort of.
This isn't the first time an alligator has been spotted in Kentucky. In 2018, one was spotted in a swamp in Ballard County.
But it's not like you'll be very busy if you plan an excursion centered around gator sightings in Kentucky; they are not supposed to be here. The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources has a long list of reptiles that are common in Kentucky, and alligators are not among them.
But that's just it; this particular "sighting" has yet to be confirmed by KDFWR. So there will be patrols set up to monitor the situation, and folks are asked to report an alligator as soon as they see one. But since there's precedent, the situation must be taken seriously, and an advisory has been issued.
It seems that if alligators ARE going to be spotted in Kentucky, it is apparently southwestern Kentucky--near the lakes--where they're going to hang out. In 2021, KDFWR seized two alligators from a home in McCracken County, which is mostly Paducah. They were five feet long and were turned over to authorities.
No, we don't want alligators in Kentucky, but since reptiles DO live here, I had to know why gators cannot survive here. Thanks to RealTree.com, I've learned that since they spend more time in the water than Kentucky's native reptiles do, they can't last long in the Commonwealth because they can't survive in water that's colder than 40 degrees.
Again, fine by me.
The only alligator I'm interested in seeing in Kentucky usually comes out of a smoker.