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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – As more and more people are seeing alligators in certain parts of Huntsville, city officials are coming forward with what you should and shouldn’t do if you happen to spot one.

“We wanted to make sure people were, from the public safety standpoint, to make sure people are aware,” Huntsville Animal Services Director Dr. Karen Sheppard said.

Dr. Sheppard said the city has been getting a spike in calls regarding alligator sightings, along Zierdt Road in West Huntsville, and even more recently, in the Haysland area of South Huntsville.

“Maybe when they cleared that property, that alligator’s been there a long time so when they cleared it and people saw it and yeah, it’s exciting!” Sheppard said.

Alligators have inhabited north Alabama for decades, but Sheppard said she believes construction could be driving them to more visible areas.

She said the city divided to post on a blog to urge people to steer clear of the animals, especially as more people will be outdoors during the summer months.

“You need to stay away and be respectful that they’re living their life out and we just happen to be touching each other’s lives,” Dr. Sheppard said.

They’re also working on getting signs made for those using the Greenway around the Haysland area in case they catch a glimpse of one of the alligators.

“A lot of people are moving from a lot of areas coming here and they may not be aware like a lot of individuals I talk to so we just think that’s a public safety awareness, we don’t want people to be scared walking along the greenways.,” Dr. Sheppard said.