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St. Martin Parish could revise alligator feeding ordinance

Posted at 12:24 AM, Jul 16, 2022

Don't feed the gators-- that's generally the message from state officials-- about the reptiles that are a fixture across south Louisiana.

But in St. Martin Parish-- there could soon be some wiggle room.

Since 2008-- an ordinance has been on the books here St. Martin parish that bans feeding alligators, except in zoo's and for rehabilitative services.

...but that could soon change.

The parish council is considering repealing the ordinance

"Today the use of the basin has has grown quite a bit from from 2008 and now embraces a lot of boat tours and activities of that nature. And again, several people spoke with several council members. I’m given to understanding and it was deemed appropriate to for the council to now vet the ordinance,” St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars said.

When asked if Cedars believed repealing the alligator ordinance could be dangerous…

“I'm not prepared to make that comment at this time…I want to listen to some of the competing positions if any arises.” Cedars added.

Some say this could this could be a good thing but can also be harmful and dangerous.

Bryce Fuselier with Swamp tours of Acadiana has done tours for six years and says feeding alligators could put people at risk.

"You might start having alligators approach people adults you may not have to worry about but when you have kids. Kids are small almost look like a small animal. their are instances where people have been bitten or even killed by alligators,” Fuselier said.

According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries—

"The alligator program warns the public not to feed them as doing so can create a potential dangerous situation for you and others who utilize the water.”

"I feel confident and comfortable. That due process will be followed and that the St. Martin Parish council will thoroughly review all of the issues implicated by the introduction of this ordinance,” Cedars said.

A public hearing on the ordinance will be held on the first Tuesday of August and a decision by the council is expected thereafter.

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