Alligators In Tennessee: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Are There Alligators In Tennessee?

Alligators In Tennessee

When you think about Tennessee, you typically don’t think of alligators, however, you maybe should start. The Tennessee Wildlife officials say that in recent decades, they have spotted more sightings of alligators in the Volunteer State. 

Alligators in the state have been naturally expanding their habitat range into southwestern regions of Tennessee from southern bordering states. This expansion is mostly aided because of the warm temperatures as Alligators like warm temperatures and prefer tropical freshwater and wetlands present in the U.S. 

Now that alligators survive in Tennessee during the winter, they go into a sort of hibernation called brumation, which helps them to endure ice as they stick their snouts out of water when breathing. 

How Many Alligators In Tennessee?

According to news, around 55 alligators were let into the Tennessee River running along  Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in 1979, as a measure to expand the population of the species. 

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says most of the alligator population is mostly found in the extreme southwest region of the state. However, their numbers are still only a few in the southwestern regions of Tennessee. 

From then alligators have been naturally expanding their habitat range in Tennessee, and we must learn to coexist with them just like any other species in the state.

Where Do Alligators Live In Tennessee?

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says alligators are mostly found in the extreme southwest region of the state as there have been more confirmed gator sightings from the region. 

It’s likely alligators are relocating from Mississippi, which has a well-established alligator population. However, their numbers are still only a few in the southwestern regions of Tennessee.

This is because the cold temperatures make them migrate to climates that are suitable for them. When compared to the Eastern region of Tennessee, alligators are not migrating. The animals mostly found here are mainly someone’s pets. In addition, several crocodiles were also spotted here and they look like pets were released. 

How Common Are Alligators In Tennessee?

Alligators In Tennessee

Alligators are quite uncommon to be spotted in the state. Only a few sightings have been recorded in the state. Most of these sightings have been recorded on the Mississippi River in Shelby County and the Tennessee River in Hardin County. 

This is because the ancient creatures made their way up to that state using these waterways. Also, Mississippi is known to have had a healthy population of alligators for decades, and thus it is just natural for you to spot them moving and forth in this area, where they are kind of expanding their habitat range into where they once were.

Also Read Our Guide On Alligators In South Carolina

How Big Are Tennessee Alligators?

The alligator found in Tennessee is the American alligator which is relatively the biggest of the Alligatoridae clan. Similar to other reptiles their habitat ranges expansively into temperate regions. Every alligator’s weight differs greatly depending on age, length, season, and available food in the area. 

Huge male alligators can reach a size up to 15 feet in length and weigh over 1,000 lb. Whereas female alligators can reach a size up to 9 feet. On rare occurrences, a huge, old male alligator can grow more than the average length. When kept in captive alligators can live more than 60 years and the ones in the wild barely grow up to 50 years. 

How Many Alligators Are Killed In Tennessee?

Note that alligators in Tennessee are protected, so catching or shooting them is illegal in the state. So, there are no alligators killed in Tennessee. Also, any alligator that is found in the neighborhoods of Tennessee is captured by licensed trappers or the wildlife department.

Can You Hunt Alligators In Tennessee?

You cannot hunt alligators in Tennessee, as they are expanding their territories into the state. Thus, species expanding their habitat range into the state are protected and cannot be taken down until a hunting season is opened by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. 

Also, no person shall, by any means or at any time, transport or possess alligators in Tennessee. They also, cannot be taken out from the the wild to be kept as pet animals.

Also Read Our Guide On Alligators In US

Conclusion

And that was everything you need to know about the Alligators in Tennessee. I hope this article answered all your queries.

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