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Animals on the move: Trappers say they are already busy with lots of calls

Dangerous animals are on the move!

On Wednesday, an unthinkable tragedy happened as an alligator killed a Cape Coral family’s beloved dog.

“It breaks my heart whenever a situation like that happens,” said trapper Ray Simonson.

Now, trappers say they are busy and it’s a little early for them to get a lot of calls for gators and even venomous snakes.

“We have to be diligent and make sure our fur babies are safe and obviously, without question, our kids and even ourselves,” he said.

Trappers like Simonson say alligators are getting into pools, lanais and garages.

Trapper Ray Simonson traps an alligator in a pool. (Ray the Trapper)

Right now, animals in Southwest Florida are on the move and stuck in the wrong place.

“There’s definitely been a spike in the past three weeks,” Simonson said, “everything from rabbits, gators, coyotes, snakes, bobcats…they’re all moving.”

Like a snake he brought along and released back into the wild during our interview, because that’s the goal.

“To me, it’s very important with wildlife and domestic animals. It’s all about doing what you can for the animals,” Simonson said.

That includes your pets and children.

“They’re going to get on your driveway, your sidewalk, in your garage. They’re drawn to the warmth of a refrigerator and a freezer. Leave your door wide open, it’s like, ‘Hello, come on in,'” Simonson said.

He thinks we’re seeing a spike because of unseasonable temperature changes and SWFL’s development. We’re moving into their territory and sometimes, they move into our garages.

Simonson’s advice: “Close the overhead garage door, now the animal is contained. Call FWC; they will dispatch a trapper,” and stay at least 30 feet away until they get there.

Trappers say alligators are getting into pools, lanais and garages. Simonson says check under your car before driving off. Fencing in your pools and yard can help too.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Briana Harvath
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