Alligators in Georgia: A followup

With the report Wednesday of the encounter a Hall County sheriff’s deputy had with an alligator, you may be wondering just how common alligators are in Georgia – especially in our area.

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says there are probably 200,000-400,00 gators in Georgia most of them along and south of the fall line (the gnat line, if you will) which roughly stretches from Columbus-to-Macon-to Augusta.

“There is no evidence that alligator populations reproduce north of the fall line and any found in these areas (such as the one found near Gainesville Wednesday) have probably been relocated there by humans,” information on the DNR website says. “Male alligators can grow up to 16 feet in length, although 14 footers are rare, and female alligators can grow up to 10 feet.”

The one that the deputy ran into Tuesday was estimated by the sheriff’s office to be 7-to-9 feet long.

Thought rare, there have been attacks on humans and deaths caused by alligators in the state.

“From 1980-May 2007, there only have been nine reported cases of alligator attacks on humans in Georgia, including one fatality in 2007,” DNR says. “Six of these incidents happened as a result of the human stepping on or otherwise making contact with a submerged alligator. The remaining three incidents were a result of the alligator mistaking the human for prey.”

You can read more about alligators in Georgia in the DNR Alligator Fact Sheet here: The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (

Oh, one more thing. The story about the local officer’s encounter has been picked up by news media around the state as you might expect but also around the country included United Press International (UPI); TV stations in South Carolina and Cleveland, Ohio; and

EARLIER STORY: The alligator and the deputy sheriff 97.5 Glory FM | North Georgia’s Family Radio Station (

(Hall County Sheriff’s Office photo taken by a drone after the Tuesday incident.)