When you visit many sections of the Park, you are a guest in a wildlife habitat. Treat all wildlife with respect. Harassing, injuring or removing wildlife, including alligators, is against the law.
The Park’s alligator protocol is as follows:
South of Interstate 610 we do our best to remove all alligators, no matter their size.
North of Interstate 610 we work with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to have alligators five feet or longer removed.
Stay safe around alligators by following these rules:
No swimming or wading. Alligators are more likely to be active at dusk and dawn.
Do not feed or harass alligators. Feeding or offering food, including fish or bait, to alligators in City Park is dangerous.
Call City Park Police at (504) 421-9307 if you see someone feeding or harassing alligators.
• Retreat: Keep 30 feet away from alligators at all times. If you get too close, back away slowly. Do not assume that alligators are slow and sluggish. They are extremely quick and agile and will defend themselves when cornered. They rarely chase people, but they can out run or out swim the fastest person for the first 30 feet.
• Hiss: If an alligator hisses, it's warning you that you are too close. Back away slowly.
• Protect: A female protecting her nest or young may charge if you get too close, but will quickly return to the nest after you leave. Avoid piles of twigs, grasses and/or soil near the side of the lake. Also avoid any group of small alligators under a foot long.
• Bask: Alligators often bask along the banks of ponds or streams. They are usually warming their bodies; they are not actively hunting. Often a basking alligator will have its mouth open. It is cooling itself, as alligators do not pant or sweat.
• Pets: Pets are the size and shape of common alligator prey. Keep them away from the water’s edge and on leashes that are no longer than 6 feet. Do not let your pet drink from or enter the water in alligator habitat. Alligators have a keen sense of smell. Your pet will be curious, and the alligator may see it as an easy food source.
• Advance: Tell a park employee if an alligator comes toward you when you are walking near the water, especially if it comes out of the water. In many cases, people have fed such alligators.
• Fishing: Do not continue to fish near an alligator that is interested in your fishing line or catch. If an alligator takes your bait or fish, cut your line and move to a new location. Don’t use a stringer for your fish; keep them in a bucket.
• Feeding: Nuisance alligators are almost always created by park visitors. If you feed alligators on purpose or by throwing fish scraps or other food, alligators will then associate food with people. Nuisance alligators must be moved or euthanized.
• Notify: Do not attempt to move an alligator! Notify Park employees, who can manage the alligator safely.