Animal expert Dr. Roger Mugford has said public awareness of the dangers of alligators will rise following a tragic incident in Orlando.
A two year-old boy was on the shoreline near the Disney Grand Floridian Resort and Spa when he was attacked and dragged into the water by an alligator.
The boy's father tried in vain to grab him from the alligator's jaws. A search is now underway.
Dr. Roger Mugford, who has a wild 'pet' alligator named Roger near his house in Florida, explained why the creatures can be particularly dangerous.
"Most of Southern Florida is a drained swamp," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "It's not far away from a major lake system, and the alligators move between it.
"They're not naturally afraid of human contact, and they would not naturally flee. They are the sleeping log, the ultimate predator at the top of the triangle, waiting for their opportunity.
"They can move pretty fast on land and in water, very fast. They will not differentiate between a labrador or in this case, a little boy whose parents should have kept him well away from the water."
Four alligators have been taken from the water thus far to be killed and examined for the boy. Dr. Mugford didn't necessarily agree with this.
"We've got to respect nature, work with nature, and realise our failures. " he explained. "There have been at least 16 reported killings in the last year, and the response is to go on a 'gator hunt and kill the offending animal.
"In this case, the animal did what they do, and I'm sure everyone will be a lot more savvy in future after this tragedy."