Kitty Hawk issues warning: Beware big alligator

Posted May 7, 2018 11:47 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 1:42 p.m. EDT

— "Not Fake News," the Kitty Hawk Police Department posted to Facebook with a warning about an alligator spotted in a the canal off of Pineway Drive.

Officers described the gator as between 10 and 15 feet long.

That size would indicate a relatively old alligator. In North Carolina, alligators grow about 4 inches per year until they reach 6 feet long, then average 3 inches per year beyond that, according to the state Wildlife Resources Commission.

American alligators like North Carolina's relatively warm wetlands, and can be found in lakes, creeks, marshes, swamps and ponds all along the coast. They are more common along the southern coast than areas as far north as Kitty Hawk, and they tend to grow bigger where weather is warmer.

Police were asking anyone who spotted the gator to call them.

"Residents in the area please keep an eye on your children and pets when in the yard," Kitty Hawk police wrote. The animal was spotted Monday morning near the 3900 block of Pineway Drive.

Alligators generally try to avoid humans, and it is illegal in North Carolina to kill, hurt or harass a wild alligator. If you see one, the wildlife commission advises moving slowly away and it will likely do the same.