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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding coastal residents and visitors to avoid feeding alligators.

As the weather warms, Wildlife officials receive more reports of people seeing—and feeding—alligators. The American Alligator is listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and, under North Carolina law, it is illegal to feed them in the wild.

Most alligators seen in the coastal region of North Carolina are in their natural habitat, and are best left alone and viewed from a distance.

Feeding alligators is also dangerous, as it can cause them to lose their fear of humans—making them more likely to approach and demonstrate aggressive behavior toward people and pets. This can also endanger the alligator, as wildlife that approaches or threatens humans may have to be euthanized.

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