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Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Phone: 601-432-2400

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mississippi Alligator Travels 30 Miles to Louisiana
JACKSON - The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) was recently notified by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) about a nuisance alligator near Lake Providence, Louisiana.  While there was nothing illegal or unusual about the nuisance alligator complaint, the LDWF agent alligator trapper noticed some tags located in the alligator tail and on its hind feet.  The tags were identified as those attached to alligators in Mississippi as part of a monitoring project being conducted by MDWFP.  The alligator, identified as White 4, was originally captured and tagged by MDWFP in Warren County, approximately 1 mile south of Eagle Lake on March 18, 2009.  At the time of capture, it was 7 feet 7 inches long.  When this alligator was captured near Lake Providence, LA on April 11, 2012, it was 9 feet 2 inches long.  Since the time of original capture in Mississippi, White 4 had traveled at least 30.6 miles and had grown 6.3 inches per year. 
It is not uncommon for adult male alligators to travel substantial distances, particularly during the breeding season of late April and May.  However, traveling distances over 10 miles are very uncommon.  It is likely that White 4 navigated over 44 miles of water during his venture to Lake Providence, LA.  Additionally, a 46-inch alligator tagged by the LDWF in 1996 was captured in Mississippi, near Eagle Lake in 2008 after growing to 11 feet 5 inches.  It had also traveled over 30 miles since its original capture in Louisiana. 
Documentation of these occurrences assists MDWFP in managing Mississippi's alligator population. Since March 2007, MDWFP biologists have captured and tagged nearly 600 wild alligators to learn more about alligator movements and the effectiveness of relocating alligators. 

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