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Old 10-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
Sparrow624
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Gators in Bay Lake/7 Seas Lagoon - What's the truth?

Let me preface this by saying that I actually think it is kind of cool and this is in no way a "get the gators out" thread.

Our last trip to Disney, DW and I were staying in an outer building room at the GF over the water. One afternoon, while sitting on the balcony, we got to watch a rather large gator about 15 feet away from the shoreline, swimming around. We took photo's and I would say the gator was about 4 feet in length.

Later that night, talking to a cast member at the GF, she told me that the gators are there (obviously) but that WDW removes them and puts them elsewhere in FL when they get big enough to injur anyone. I got this explanation from another CM (I have a fascination with gators, so i asked a lot of people). You can take watercraft out on Bay Lake, so I was curious.

The next night, riding a boat back from MK, we were one of the only passangers on board and I sat up front and talked with the boat captain (awesome guy by the way) about the gators. He told me that he had personally seen 6 to 7 foot gators not only in the water but...ON SHORE at night around the GF, POLY, and WL (at the shore's edge).

Again...cool...But...

What is the truth here?
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Last edited by Sparrow624; 10-09-2012 at 12:07 PM. Reason: title
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:33 AM   #2
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ive heard of them for years and i search in vain and never seen them. have stayed at VWL, travel bay lake frequently and search in vain to no avail
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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I love this... I have always wondered this too.
I saw my 1st gator sunning itself next to a pond by AK. Coolest thing ever.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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My first trip to the World was at CSR. As we were being led by a CM to our room, i noticed a "stick" floating in the pond near our building. The "stick" seemed to be following us. I commented to the CM pushing the luggage cart that the "stick" seemed to be moving. Probably 10 seconds later, the CM was on the radio calling "Environmental Services" to meet him in front of Building 12345 (I don't remember where exactly we were). About a 1/2 hour later we watched as they snared and pulled a 6 foot alligator out of the pond. They had a wonderful time playing with the critter and assured us that it would be relocated to another part of Florida far away from our room. For the duration of the trip, the pond was referred to as Stick Pond, and we kept a wary on it that there were no siblings.

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Old 10-09-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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They are definitely in there. Here is a link to some of the pictures from my 2011 trip and the gator. My question is, I guess, how big do they "really" get and do they actually come on shore?

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2751379
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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We saw a gator for the first time ever at CSR last month. It was hanging out under a bridge. I have heard cast members say that once a gator gets large it will be relocated out of the resort. Wouldn't it be cool to watch a gator being caught for relocation?!

We have been looking for gators for years and were glad we saw one. It was interesting! On our quest to find a gator, we have seen a lot of BIG turtles.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:56 AM   #7
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Yes, there are gators in just about all of the bodies of water in Walt Disney World. And snakes. And brain-eating amoebas. It's all surrounded by swamp, so not sure how they could NOT be there. And yes, when they see gators over a certain size or located in an 'inconvenient' spot they are captured and relocated. They've even been photographed in the Rivers of America in MK.

By the way, if you were seeing these animals at GF and Poly, they were no where near Bay Lake. These resorts are located on the Seven Seas Lagoon. Bay Lake is behind the Contemporary, and is the body of water that Ft. Wilderness is on.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:02 PM   #8
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I am also super interested in gators so I am always on the look-out. The only one I've seen in Disney was our latest trip two weeks ago at Coronado Springs. It was very small, my guess would be maybe 3 feet total? You could see it from the little bridge that crosses the water. There was a little boy, maybe 8 or 9 there looking at it and he told me that a staff member had told him that they pulled a 10 foot gator out earlier in the week. I'm not sure if I believe him or not lol, the cast member may have been pulling his leg.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #9
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It would be more of a surprise if there WEREN'T gators there, to be honest Gators, for the most part, are really nothing to worry about, though, as long as you keep a safe distance and keep your wits about you near bodies of water they could live in.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnie mum View Post
By the way, if you were seeing these animals at GF and Poly, they were no where near Bay Lake. These resorts are located on the Seven Seas Lagoon. Bay Lake is behind the Contemporary, and is the body of water that Ft. Wilderness is on.

Minnie Mum,

Thanks for the education on that one. I have always considered all of it "Bay Lake" and never really made a deliniation between the connected bodies of water, will do so now.

Again, I know there are gators there, I have seen them. My question is does Disney really go out looking for the gators over a certain size? When captured, where do they take them? Just another swamp area or a sanctuary (there is a cool one in Jacksonville and in everglades national park)?

Has anyone ever seen one on shore? I have seen few in the water, but never on shore, though I have heard stories.

Again, the boat captain I spoke with said that he had seen 6 or 7 footers close to and/or on shore by the GF, POLY, and WL.

While I would love to see that, I wonder how they keep people, specifically kids, from interracting with them.

Disney MUST do an amazing job of animal control if we do not hear of many interractions with the animals. I have been golfing in FL and GA and had MANY more interractions with Gators than at Disney...So this is impressive.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #11
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We stayed at WL for a week in September and the first day on the dock DD(4) saw a little gator swimming around beside the dock with a chunk of bread in its mouth. When the boat docked, the CM came out and asked if we'd seen their "little mascot." Apparently the gator hangs out around the boat dock there. It was pretty small--maybe 2.5 feet long and that included the tail. Apparently there are lots of gators in Bay Lake!
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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If a body of fresh water is in Florida there are alligators. Just like if you drive in NJ someone is going to blow the horn and flip you the "bird." It's just a fact of life.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:25 PM   #13
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While Disney definitely keeps their Animal Control employees busy with all kinds of wildlife, I have never seen any published accounts of how they go about managing the gator population. As for where they are relocated to, I can think of a couple of possiblilities.

One third of WDW property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary. So they may just be moved to the least populated areas of the property.

The other possibility is the Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve. Here's a link with some info on this area:

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives...xml#thingsToDo
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow624 View Post
While I would love to see that, I wonder how they keep people, specifically kids, from interracting with them.
I'd think you'd have to be a Darwin Award candidate if you thought getting close to a gator was a good idea. I'd also hope that most parents would stop their children from getting too close to one. That may be giving people too much credit, though.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnie mum View Post
While Disney definitely keeps their Animal Control employees busy with all kinds of wildlife, I have never seen any published accounts of how they go about managing the gator population. As for where they are relocated to, I can think of a couple of possiblilities.

One third of WDW property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary. So they may just be moved to the least populated areas of the property.

The other possibility is the Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve. Here's a link with some info on this area:

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives...xml#thingsToDo

Totally did not even know that a Disney Wilderness Preserve existed. After checking out the website and seeing that you can visit, I am adding that to our 2013 trip! Going down a day early to check this out I think. The hiking and walking trails seem pretty cool.

As you said, I bet animal control is pretty busy.
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