Spring wildlife safety tips from the Daniel Island POA
Now that the temperatures have gotten warmer, the community is starting to see an increase in wildlife activity on the island. The Daniel Island Property Owners Association has outlined below some important safety tips and recommendations for residents. If you have any questions or would like to report a nuisance alligator or coyote, please contact the POA office at (843) 971-9200, and they will report it to SCDNR experts.
As residents of this great island community, we have grown accustomed to the beauty of the picturesque landscapes at our homes, our common areas, or the golf course with wildlife, such as deer, alligators, squirrels, fox, and even coyotes. Our interaction with local wildlife can be fascinating at times but also can become less than optimal. Since we are sharing our environment with wildlife, our responsibility is to minimize the potential for undesirable interactions with them as we share this space together.
Here are some recommendations:
All pet foods should be properly stored in an enclosed area, such as garage or house. Never leave pet bowls for food and water outside for extended periods of time.
Make certain all outside pets are secured in a gated or enclosed area.
Ensure all garbage containers are securely fastened and located in an enclosed area.
Never intentionally throw items at, approach or feed squirrels, deer, fox, coyotes, and especially alligators.
Always be aware of your surroundings when near marshes and/or ponds.
Wildlife is most active in the darkness; it is encouraged to limit any prolonged activities (such as walking your dog, or exercising) to the daylight hours.
Despite our best efforts, there may still be the rare occurrence for the nuisance animal. In these circumstances, here are the POA’s recommendations:
If nuisance animals, such as alligators, are located in DIPOA common areas for an extended period, please call the DIPOA immediately at (843) 971-9200.
If nuisance animals are intruding on your property, here are some links for your reference.
FAQS REGARDING ALLIGATORS AND PUBLIC SAFETY
Alligators are incredibly adaptable animals and have existed for millions of years. Remember, it is against the law to feed or otherwise harass alligators. This includes activities, such as throwing sticks or rocks. When people feed alligators, they will begin to associate people with food, creating a very dangerous situation. These animals often have to be destroyed due to this human intervention.
Q: What is a nuisance alligator?
A: A nuisance alligator is an individual alligator that has become a significant public safety risk. This typically occurs when an alligator has been fed and has lost its inherent fear of people.
Q: What happens when the POA gets a call about an alligator sighting?
A: The Daniel Island POA calls their alligator consultant who is a 25-year alligator specialist and former South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Reserve Officer. Based on SCDNR’s and the National Wildlife Control Training Program, the alligator specialist evaluates and tests the alligator. During the evaluation process, the specialist will go through a series of tests to see if the alligator is threatening/aggressive.
Q: What happens after the evaluation?
A: If the specialist deems the alligator non-threatening, the alligator is left alone. If the specialist deems the alligator threatening, the alligator will be properly removed according to SCDNR’s rules and regulations. Not all alligators have to be removed.
Q: Why do you have to remove an aggressive/threatening alligator?
A: The POA follows federal and state guidelines for the removal of tested, aggressive alligators for public safety.
Q: What can you do as a resident to help?
A: It is critical that people do not feed or taunt alligators so that we may co-exist with native wildlife and meet our public safety needs. Please pass the message on to others and to children to not throw anything at the alligators nor feed the alligators at any time. Feeding or harassing alligators is illegal under South Carolina State Law. When feeding the alligators or throwing items at them which simulates feeding, the alligator will associate humans with food and will no longer have a natural fear of humans.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding an alligator in a pond/lake near you, please call the POA office at (843) 971-9200.
More information can be found in this document on the SCDNR website: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/publications/nuisance/alligators.pdf.
BEFORE GETTING ON THE WATER!
PROVIDED BY SCDNR
This weekend, thousands of boaters are expected to hit South Carolina waterways in celebration of the long Memorial Day weekend. Before shipping off, make sure you fill out a float plan and let people know where you’re going, what route you’re taking, as well as what time you expect to be back. You can download the United State Coast Guard app to fill out your float plan and share it electronically.
You’ll also want to get all your Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) together, make sure they are in serviceable condition AND are the correct size for all passengers, especially children. All PFDs should be stamped with “U.S. Coast Guard Approved” and include the type of PFD it is.
You should also check your fuel level and battery charge before heading out. If possible, have an extra battery for your boat. Make sure your lights are in good working condition on the boat AND trailer, as well.
In addition to PFDs, you’ll also need to have a fire extinguisher readily accessible and in good serviceable condition. Also, remember to put the plug in.
Now that all that is checked-off, what should you know when you’re on one of South Carolina’s beautiful waterways?
The first thing you should do is get familiar with the aids to navigation and buoy system in the area you’ll be in. Refresh your memory on what each symbol and color means.
While you can be prepared as much as possible, it won’t always stop something bad from happening. However, being prepared could keep the situation from being worse.
If someone does fall overboard, immediately turn the boat off and throw something that will float, like a PFD, raft or cooler to the person. You should have it easily accessible and not tied down. If your boat capsizes, stay with the boat! You will have a better chance of being seen by rescue crews.
Don’t operate any watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you see any potential boating, fishing or hunting violations, call the Operation Game Thief 24-hour hotline at 1-800-922-5431 to report it.