Irma Brings New Threat For Floridians: Snakes And Alligators

CBS Local — Hurricane Irma brought devastating winds and flooding to Florida as it swept across the state. But as the powerful storm begins to fade, it’s leaving a new problem for the millions of impacted Floridians: dangerous wildlife.

The Florida Department of Health sent out a tweet Monday morning urging residents to be on the lookout for snakes and alligators that Irma may have “displaced.”

The warning comes as locals have begun to spot the dangerous reptiles roaming through Florida neighborhoods. One man in downtown Melbourne captured an alligator on video as the animal crossed an empty road near homes and businesses.

Although the threat from animals in the wild is now an issue for residents as they begin to pick up the pieces after the storm, local wildlife parks are assuring the public that none of their deadly creatures are at risk of escaping.

Gatorland wildlife reserve in Orlando is reportedly home to thousands of alligators, raccoons, and poisonous snakes. The facility is saying their staffis keeping a close eye on the reptiles, who have been moved to indoors enclosures.

“If you see an alligator floating down the street right by your house, it ain’t ours. Don’t call us. Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department,” said park president Mark McHugh.

Irma has also affected many harmless species in the region as well. Local officials have documented their efforts to save manatees that have been washed ashore by the devastating storm.

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