Imagine An 800-Pound Alligator

The barrier islands of North Carolina are a vacation spot. You can say the same about Florida. Both places promote family vacations, beautiful beaches and sunny views. But they also have something else in common:  the American Alligator.

If you head down to Florida, you’ll see all types of names, destinations and references to this reptile. Floridians have embraced the alligator, and their state legislature actually made it their official reptile in 1987. Generally speaking, I haven’t really seen North Carolinians promote the American Alligator like I’ve seen in Florida. But the alligator is native to North Carolina; it’s been there for at least 150 years.

Here in Richmond, Virginia, NBC12 reported that an 800-pound alligator was hit and killed by a car in Dare County, North Carolina. The event made the news at least 165 miles away.

Honestly, I’ve worried more about sharks and mosquitos than alligators when I’ve been in that area. I’ve hiked through the parks and kayaked through the sound with my family. During my first paddleboard lesson, I was more concerned about the sticky, muddy bottom of the Pamlico Sound than running into an alligator.

But it definitely has me thinking….and keeping my eyes open. Want to see what that 800-pound alligator looked like? Sometimes a visual really helps. Check out any of these great resources:

GrumpyGator

Grumpy Gator illustration by Susan Epperson

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Grumpy Gator by Susan Epperson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

What’s the story behind the name “Barrier Island?”

The barrier islands of North Carolina have some of the most beautiful and family-friendly beaches in the world. This particular string of sand bars protecting the east coast from the ocean is one of the most popular destinations for families, vacationers and honeymooners in the mid-Atlantic.

DSC00512But, the history of this area is far from idyllic. Continue Reading