These creatures are known for their resilience which has helped them survive for about 65 million years. Since the Triassic period, these reptiles have remained unchanged. With stone-like grayish skin and bony plates that look like armor, these creatures typically fool many as a simple stone or log of wood in the ground.
Yes, we are talking about the infamous reptiles of freshwater, the alligators, specifically the American alligators. Typically, you can find them in various water sources in America. But what about Oklahoma?
Below I’ve explained everything you need to know about the alligator presence in this large and beautiful state of Oklahoma.
Are There Alligators in Oklahoma?
Yes, There are alligators in Oklahoma, but it is rare to spot them. They are native to the state and as far back as the 1800s, these creatures have been thriving in the state. It is their adaptability to different weather cycles and habitats that make them much more resilient and help them maintain their population.
But these creatures however have been plagued with various human activities like unregulated hunting, and habitat loss. And so, their numbers have drastically decreased in the last 100 years or so. In a few places, however, especially in the southeast part of the state, few alligator individuals have been introduced.
How Many Alligators in Oklahoma?
Lesser than the state would hope for. Yes, there are only about 100 to 200 individuals of alligators currently living in the state. This is depressingly low compared to the estimates in other nearby states like in Texas where there are about 400,000 to 500,000 alligator individuals. The reason for this could be that since most alligators reside in coastal states, they are not as widespread in the interior states including Oklahoma.
The alligator population in Oklahoma is managed by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The department actively pursuits and locates these creatures to research about the population, their distribution and health. Additionally, the department also partners with educational institutes to conduct its studies and research on alligators.
Where Do Alligators Live in Oklahoma?
Any freshwater lakes or streams near your house? If yes, then be careful when you go there for swimming, fishing, and other activities. Alligators tend to be prominent there.
Though this is true in most cases, Oklahoma’s lakes and streams are in interior of the continent and not in coastal regions. So, its is still rare to spot these creatures even in the habitats they commonly live in. But then where can you find these creatures in Oklahoma?
Red River region. Although, you can typically spot alligators in the southeast part of the state, your best bet would be to specifically visit the Red River region which includes all of the creatures’ best habitats, from wetland habitats like marsh to river systems.
This region consists of counties such as McCurtain, Choctaw and Le Flore which all host the largest number of these majestic creatures of the past.
Also Check Our Guide On Alligators In US
How Big Are Oklahoma Alligators?
Quite big but nothing unusual. Alligators in Oklahoma have sizes similar to those of alligators from other states. The adult male weigh anywhere between 500 to 800 pounds and their female counterpart weight a lot lesser at about 200 to 500 pounds.
This is same even for their length. Compared to the majestic 10 to 13 feet of male alligators, female just measure a measly 7 to 9 feet. In fact, some male alligators are even known to measure 15 feet long. That’s massive. And you can imagine how their weight would be then. At least 1000 pounds for sure!
I am certain, this additional knowledge of their weight would have made this creature seem much more dangerous to you. That is one of the intentions. Because, even after establishing many restrictions and regulations on alligator sights for public viewing, people still foolishly go near these creatures and feed them. This should be stopped, and alligator and their space should be respected.
How many Alligators are killed in Oklahoma?
The specific details of Alligator harvest in Oklahoma are not available. But based on the type of license and the available populations, we can estimate that it is in the lower end of the scale, probably 20 to 30. Other than that, these creatures are seldom killed over by accident as they typically live away from interaction settlements.
Can You Hunt Alligators in Oklahoma?
With the low-end estimates of alligator population, you would have though that hunting these creatures would most probably be illegal. Surprisingly, its not so. Alligator population in the state is managed through a closed season hunting. Hunting an alligator is allowed only from September to November.
To hunt an alligator in the state, you need to obtain alligator hunting license from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. This is generally provided through a drawing process. Without this license it is illegal to hunt them, and strict action will be taken on those not obeying the hunting laws.
Can you own/feed alligators in Oklahoma?
As per Reptile and Amphibian regulations of Oklahoma, it is strictly prohibited to possess alligators in Oklahoma. These regulations are set and governed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Only exception can be made by the director to holders of Oklahoma Scientific Collectors permits. They may be allowed to possess alligator solely for research and educational purpose.
Regarding feeding of alligators, it is strictly prohibited in the wild. As there is a chance for these creatures to associate humans with food once fed and may therefore exhibit violent behavior. Having said that, in captivity, these creatures can be fed. This should be done with the utmost care, caution, and following safe practices.
Also Check Our Guide On Alligator In North Carolina
And that was everything you need to know about the Alligators In Oklahoma. I hope this article was informative and your queries were answered.
Our Source For This Guide
Founder Of This Website
I’m a passionate animal lover and researcher, I’ve created this website so that people can learn about the size and characteristics of different animal species. My goal is to educate and inspire people to appreciate the diversity of our planet’s wildlife.