Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

Do Alligators Swim?

alligator

Yes, alligators swim. They are good swimmers in rivers and lakes, but bad ones in the sea or the ocean. While gators can swim and stay underwater, they do not have the agility and swimming speed of fish and sharks.

When alligators swim, they do not do it as fishes do. Alligators are merely semi-aquatic. When they swim, they are either on the prowl or avoiding a predator—like a bigger gator.

Do alligators swim in deep water?

Alligator tail

Yes, alligators swim in deep water. Alligators like to stay in rivers, lakes, and swamps. These bodies of water are their natural habitat. The thing is that they do not live in the water.

Despite not being oceans, bodies of freshwater are still deep. Alligators will even live in water reservoirs. The wise thing to do in the wild is never to swim in any body of water where an alligator has been spotted.

Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say that people should never swim in any area where there are gators. They also advise not to swim after daylight hours. Alligators are nocturnal creatures, which means they are active at night.

Related Article: How Strong Are Alligators?

Do alligators swim in the ocean?

A partially underwater alligator

No, alligators do not swim in the ocean. Even if alligators can stand saltwater for a few hours or even a few days, they do not like it.

From time to time, an alligator may find itself in the ocean if it gets washed away. However, the same alligator will find its way back to its habitat.

There was this viral incident where someone from Kentucky captured a video of an alligator by the beach. The incident happened in Myrtle Beach.

The local lifeguards followed the gator and notified officials. The plan was to wait for the officers of the Alligator Adventures to transfer the gator to the facility. Alligator Adventures is a zoo.

This incident is a fluke. Alligators do not normally go to the ocean for a swim or to hunt for food. As such, the local government did not raise alarms to avoid scaring the public.

Do alligators swim or stand?

Crocodile standing in water

They do both. Alligators dive and swim with their bodies floating horizontally underwater. However, they can also stay in the water.

There is no documented video for this, but it is a known fact. The closest one can see is what a crocodile does in a pool, which got a laugh from the news anchor that showed it.

Do alligators swim fast?

Alligator in a river
Alligator in a river

Yes, alligators swim fast. On land, they look so awkward and clumsy, but water is their territory. Alligators can swim as fast as 20 miles per hour, or about 32 kilometers per hour.

Despite this speed, the alligator cannot win against the fastest animal swimmers in the world:

  • Orca – 32 miles per hour
  • Atlantic Bluefin Tuna – 43 miles per hour
  • Mako Shark – 40 miles per hour
  • Pilot Whale – 47 miles per hour
  • Swordfish – 60 miles per hour

Alligators are adept underwater despite their sizes because of their webbed feet and tail. Alligators have webbed feet, and they use these feet to maneuver themselves underwater.

When the gator wants to rotate, it uses its tail. Essentially, the gator’s tail is like a boat’s steering mechanism.

Can alligators jump from the water?

Large alligator
Large alligator

Yes, alligators can jump from under the water. Alligators have powerful tails that can push them upwards. Generally speaking, alligators can jump five feet off the water’s surface.

When gators do this, what happens is they push themselves up, and they use their buoyancy to leap. It is a scary thing to behold, but many wildlife operators take advantage of it.

What the tourist guides usually do is hang a piece of meat from a pole. Then, they would wait until the alligator jumped to snag the meat.

Do alligators swim in the middle of lakes?

Brown and tan alligator
Brown and tan alligator

Yes, be it a man-made lake or a natural lake, alligators will swim in the middle if they are hunting for food or if they are trying to lane their body temperature.

People should never swim in lakes that are known to be alligator habitat. Even if no one sees the gator, these reptiles are just lurking around. Many lakes also have murky waters, and the alligators use it to their advantage.

Where do alligators live?

There are only two types of true alligators in the world. These are the American and Chinese alligators. Both of these are endemic to their namesake. American gators are only found in the USA, and Chinese gators are only present in China.

Both species are freshwater reptiles. Right now, there are only about 150 Chinese alligators in the wild. However, there are 20,000 Chinese alligators in captivity.

In the United States, the habitats of alligators are:

  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Texas

Right now, the estimated population of alligators in the United States is around five million. Of all these, roughly 1.25 million are in Florida.

The US government has a program to control these numbers. There is a hunting season for alligators. In Florida, it starts on August 15th and ends on the morning of November 1st.

Alligator hunters must register, and they will receive a quota. Each applicant will also get an Alligator Trapping License. Along with this license is a specific area where the hunter can trap gators. It means that he cannot hunt gators in other areas, as those areas are reserved for other hunters.

In other states, the laws are different. Alligator hunters can catch as many as they want, provided that they meet their quota. Hunters in Louisiana, for example, receive tags, and each tag represents one gator that they can hunt.

Summary: Do Alligators Swim?

Yes, alligators swim. They are fast swimmers with an average of 20 miles per hour. However, they are not as fast as fish and sharks. Despite the capacity to swim in deep waters, alligators do not frequently go to the ocean. It is not their natural habitat. Some gators were spotted in the ocean, but most of the time, it is highly likely that the gator made a mistake or it was washed up from the river

Skip to content