NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — When you think of Tennessee, you don’t typically think of alligators, but maybe you should. Wildlife experts say that in recent years, they are seeing more alligator sightings in the Volunteer State. One was spotted just outside Memphis in Fayette County.
“One of our own personnel saw it, they are pretty excited, and then they are like, ‘this is pretty cool that we are getting to witness this in Tennessee,'” said Amy Spencer with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
Spencer said that it’s not the only sighting either. They’ve also spotted a gator on the Tennessee River in Hardin County, and on the Mississippi River in Shelby County, as the ancient creatures make their way up to our neck of the woods from the Deep South.
“Mississippi has had a healthy population of gators for years, and so it’s just natural for us to see them moving back into this area. Kinda expanding their range back into where they once were.”
Spencer said that U.S. Geological Survey records show gators in Tennessee are not out of the question.
If you see one, keep your distance, especially if you’re with children and pets. But know that, for the most part, they are not looking to attack.
“Don’t hesitate to enjoy the waters. Enjoy the waters in Tennessee,” she said. There’s nothing to be concerned about. You’re more likely to die from a wasp or a bee sting, or a dog attack than you are from alligators.”