Purple flag flies at Dauphin Island for alligator spotted at East End Beach

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 6:37 PM CDT
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DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (WALA) - If you’re planning on going to the beach anytime soon, there’s a new flag temporarily up at Dauphin Island.

Dauphin Island Public safety put up a purple flag after they spotted a gator swimming on the East End Beach near Fort Morgan.

Most folks on Friday said they hadn’t seen the reptile, but it’s certainly been the talk of the town.

Mayor Jeff Collier says gators camp out around the island, but it’s unusual for them to end up in this area.

“Our staff took the caution to put up the purple flag which means there may be some other danger in the water. Gators, while they are around the island, you don’t usually expect to see them on the Gulf of Mexico,” said Collier.

However, the warning didn’t stop spring breakers from soaking up the sunshine for a day at the beach.

“We love Dauphin Island. It’s beautiful... alligators and all,” said one.

For some out-of-town guests from Kentucky, catching a glimpse of the alligator would be a real treat.

“I’m like ‘heck yeah,’ this is what I came for, to see an alligator,” said one.

“And I said, ‘alligator’?!” one exclaimed.

“We were kind of shocked because we were not aware there was an alligator in the area for sure,” added another.

Some locals are offering up their advice if you happen to encounter a gator.

“Just be respectful of them. Mind your small animals and small children. Gators do not attack for any reason. You’re either messing with their young or they are hungry. Depending on the size of the gator, they know what they consider food.”

Mayor Collier says it’s common to find more gators out-and-about this time of year.

“I think we’re in mating season so gators are out moving more so,” he stated. “We do, from time-to-time, see them on the Gulf beach, but that’s pretty unusual.”

Mayor Collier is asking folks to be cautious and aware at all times.

“We want people visiting the beach to be aware there are gators around and to be observant and aware of their surroundings in the meantime,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mayor Collier says public safety has been monitoring the area and that they’ll continue to do so until the gator returns home. He thinks his original home could be the bird sanctuary nearby.