I most often see American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) resting, either in the water or sunbathing on land. They aren’t the most active of creatures, though they can be surprisingly quick when the mood strikes (ie- feeding or protecting their young).
I watched this alligator meander through Walsingham Lake before it turned and swam toward me. Don’t worry, I was using the zoom on my camera, I was a safe distance away at all times.
My first thought was that perhaps the gator was used to being fed. But really, would anyone be that stupid? I know, I know, sadly the answer is probably yes. However, after spending more time with the gator I am now thinking she has staked out a nesting site.
There was a low, shrubby palm near her pullout which would be a protected location for her eggs. After all, Spring is just around the corner. It is an educated guess, for the only way to truly determine the sex of a gator is to turn it over and insert one’s finger into the genital slit and probe for a certain structure (there are videos online, feel free to search for them). Trust me, I don’t think either of us would enjoy that experience!
I’ll check back in a couple weeks and see if I can confirm my guess.