Alligators, snakes may threaten Floridians in aftermath of Hurricane Irma

An alligator swims in the waters at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida, on April 21, 2016. "Displaced" wildlife may pose a threat after Hurricane Irma. RHONA WISE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

(CBS NEWS) –  Hurricane Irma brought devastating winds and flooding to Florida as it swept across the state. But as the powerful storm begins to fade, CBS Miami reports it’s leaving a new problem for the millions of impacted Floridians: dangerous wildlife.

The Florida Department of Health sent out a tweet Monday morning urging residents to be on the lookout for snakes and alligators that Irma may have “displaced.”

The warning comes as locals have begun to spot the dangerous reptiles roaming through neighborhoods. One man in downtown Melbourne captured an alligator on video as the animal crossed an empty road near homes and businesses.

While the threat from wild animals is now an issue for residents, local wildlife parks are assuring the public that none of their deadly creatures are at risk of escaping.

Gatorland wildlife reserve in Orlando is reportedly home to thousands of alligators, raccoons, and poisonous snakes. The facility says their staff is keeping a close eye on the reptiles, who have been moved to indoor enclosures.

“If you see an alligator floating down the street right by your house, it ain’t ours. Don’t call us. Call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department,” said park president Mark McHugh.

Irma has also affected many harmless and beloved species in the region. Local officials have documented their efforts to save manatees that were washed ashoreby the devastating storm. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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