Cardiff, MD – The warmer than usual winter we are experiencing has American Alligators migrating north into the lower Susquehanna.
“This is a historical migration” said Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Earl Sneed.
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator or common alligator, is a large crocodilian reptile endemic to the southeastern United States.
According to Sneed, “We have seen alligators as far north as southern Virginia but never this far north and certainly never in the Susquehanna.”
Global warming is causing the water temperatures of the Susquehanna to rise making it a more habitable climate for alligators. But warmer weather may not be the only culprit.
“There have been numerous reports of Alligators being piloted and guided to the Susquehanna by North American Trash Pandas, also known as Raccoons.” said Sneed.
Some animal experts say this is particularly concerning.
“This cooperation between species is a first and particularly concerning. The cooperation between Alligators and North American Trash Pandas could lead to an established population of Alligators in the Susquehanna. A resident population of Alligators in the Susquehanna River could decimate native fish populations and threaten human recreation in the river.” explained Buck Jackson of the Susquehanna Conservancy.
People are encouraged to report alligator sightings to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.