Please keep the following things in mind while viewing alligators:

  • Keep children and pets close. Stay on the pavement or sidewalk, and do not approach the water's edge.
  • If you encounter an alligator on land, never get between them and the water.
  • Do not crouch down in front of an alligator. Alligators pick their prey based on size and crouching down makes you look prey-sized.
  • Feeding alligators makes them dangerous! They do not understand the concept of a gift and if fed by a human, they assume they are eating parts of that person that are falling in the water. Feeding an alligator literally teaches them that people are made of food. Most incidents where a person is injured by an alligator involve them being trained in that behavior by humans feeding them.
  • Alligators that become a threat to humans are not removed or relocated; they are euthanized. You can protect our wildlife by not feeding them. Feeding alligators makes them dangerous. Dangerous animals will have to be euthanized.
  • Give them space! Never get closer than 15 feet to an alligator. If it hisses or opens it's mouth in defense, you should back away even farther.
  • The first body language signal of an alligator if it is stressed is to stop walking and lie down.  If you see this behavior, do not move closer to the alligator.

Still have questions? Stop by the Nature Center or speak to a park ranger at the park you are visiting. 

Huntington Beach State Park

The Nature Center at Huntington Beach is open daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

March-October, join one of the alligator programs that are offered several times per week. These meet at the entrance to Atalaya at 10 a.m., and are a walking tour of the driveway of Atalaya (The Straight Road). They are one of the best ways to safely observe and learn about alligators in the wild! You can pick up a program schedule at the Nature Center, Atalaya, the Welcome Station, or the Gift Shop. Click here to view program listings online.