WESTON, Fla. – Rosa Sordo wants residents of western Broward County to beware of lurking predators and take additional measures to protect their children and pets.
Sordo couldn’t believe the size of an alligator that she recently saw in Weston, a suburban city bordered by the Florida Everglades to the north and west.
Sordo recently recorded a video of an alligator crossing South Post Road, east of the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area. She shared it to raise awareness.
“It was coming from Weston Hills,” said Sordo, while referring to the lakes in the area’s popular golf club.
North of Weston, in Tamarac, a city bordered by the Everglades to the west, Jorge Liloy shared another video, so pet owners can beware of coyotes. He feared for his dogs’ safety.
“I see this thing eating the iguana. It was eating the iguana and he wouldn’t move,” Liloy said about his encounter near Northwest 83rd Street, south of the Stranahan River.
Green iguanas, like the Burmese Python, are an invasive species in Florida. Xianming Zeng shared a photograph of a fox he saw along Windmill Lakes Road.
“He was standing there looking very relaxed,” Zeng said.
On Friday, the Florida Department of Health in Broward County reported a fox found in Weston tested positive for rabies.
Officials issued a 60-day rabies alert for the area within Weston Hills Drive, Southwest 196th Avenue, North Ridge Drive, and Griffin Road.
Aside from Weston and Tamarac, there have also been wildlife reports in Margate, Davie, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Dania Beach and Hallandale Beach.
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recommend that residents keep their distance and avoid feeding or confronting the animals. To report an alligator nuisance, call the FWC hotline at 1-866-392-4286.
More safety tips
Do not feed wildlife
Feeding wildlife of any kind will eventually make the animal aggressive. Alligators and crocodiles that are fed by humans can associate humans with food. Keep a distance of at least 15 feet.
Supervise small children
Keep small children close — especially around bodies of water. Exercise even more caution at night. Alligators and crocodiles are more active at night and do most of their hunting from dusk to dawn.
Protect pets and service animals
Wildlife, such as alligators and crocodiles, may perceive animals like small dogs as prey. Try walking your pet during daytime hours. Pets must be kept on a leash at a maximum of 6 feet in length at all times. Do not leave pets unattended. Avoid leaving pet food or dishes outside overnight.
Do not harass wildlife
Although alligators may look like a statue at times, they can react lightning fast. Touching an alligator or throwing objects at it is never a good idea.