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Is there an alligator in Carolina Beach Lake?

Judy Royal
Charlie the alligator

Charlie the alligator sunbathing under the maintenance bridge at the Battleship North Carolina. (Contributed photo by Heather Loftin)

Any body of fresh water in the South is an inviting and preferred habitat for alligators, even though they will occasionally venture into brackish or salt water. And the Carolina Beach Lake is no exception, according to this 1988 StarNews article: http://ow.ly/Oe3ZL

However, it has been some time since anyone has seen one of the hulking reptiles lurking around the 11-acre recreation area, which is popular for its 0.67-mile loop path and various events, including the Pleasure Island Chowder Cook-off in April and Sunday night outdoor movies throughout the summer.

“In the past, there have been reports of an alligator in Carolina Beach Lake,” said Town Manager Michael Cramer, who moved to the area in late 2013. “I understand that an alligator was relocated several years ago out of the lake. I have not heard of a report of an alligator in the lake recently.”

If you do happen to spot an alligator there or anywhere else nearby in the future, your chances of becoming its prey are very slim, statistics show.


Has anyone ever been attacked by an alligator in this region?

Who do I call to get an alligator out of my neighborhood?

Where do alligators go in the winter?

User-contributed question by:
angie allen

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One Response to “ Is there an alligator in Carolina Beach Lake?”

  1. On November 5, 2015 at 4:25 am Dette wrote:

    The last alligator I saw wasn’t in Carolina Beach Lake proper but rather in the ditch close to the pump station around the corner from the lake, about eight or so years ago.

    The last alligator to take up residence in the lake, as far as I know, was removed by Wildlife Management in late 80s, early 90s because people kept feeding it, which is about the dumbest thing you can do if you care at all about alligators or toddlers or pets around the lake, or your foot. If they decide to go for you, alligators are so insanely fast, you won’t get out a “Whoa nelly.” But 9 times out of 10 they choose to bolt in the opposite direction. That won’t stop folks from calling and complaining about them.

    In the 1910s, my Uncle Punk shot an alligator in Carolina Beach Lake, I’m sad to say. Anyway, that suggests those large reptiles are more native to that body of water than probably anybody around it now.

    Hopefully, Brunswick County is holding onto its alligator population. There are some real monsters up in certain creeks over there, I won’t say where because I think they should be left alone, for their sake.

    And that’s the main reason we probably won’t see any alligator return to Carolina Beach Lake: too many people. Some fat ducks, crunchy turtles, one intrepid tricolor heron, and lots of meaty popeye mullet, but for the alligators, none of that is worth putting up with all the humans.

    What you see roiling up every now and then is most likely a big ol’ snapping turtle. It’s rumored somebody let one go in there, and that one may in turn have had turtlings.

    Other wildlife? Well, one look at that big white duck with Moe’s hair surrounded by all those female mallards, and wildlife may be like, “Think I’ll just head for Canada.”

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