Wildlife officials say a 7-foot alligator was found in the southwestern corner of the state.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is alerting residents of migrating alligators after officials spotted a 7-footer in Fayette County near the Wolf River.
While alligators can be dangerous, wildlife officials say this is something many other Americans deal with on a regular basis.
"Alligators migrating into Tennessee is just another species that we must learn to coexist with like many of the other southern states," the TWRA said in a press release.
Even though there are reports of a number of alligator sightings in the area, there doesn't seem to be a large concern for other wildlife just yet. However, gators do feed on many of Tennessee's native wildlife, such as fish, snakes, frogs, turtles, waterfowl, and occasionally deer, possums and raccoons.
Other states that have experienced the same migration patterns, such as North Carolina, have found that alligators can survive harsh winters with a dormancy process called "brumation," during which they go into something of a hibernation.
"They can withstand periods of ice by sticking their snout out of the water before it freezes, which allows them to continue breathing," the TWRA said.
Because alligators are newcomers to the state, there is no legal hunting season in place, and therefore it's illegal to catch or shoot one of these animals. Officials encourage locals to simply keep a safe distance from any gator they might come across.
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