Alligators in Tennessee
Recently a seven-foot alligator was videoed by TWRA Region 1 personnel in West Tennessee at the Wolf River WMA in Fayette County. This latest sighting is one of several confirmed sightings of alligators in Southwest Tennessee.
Alligators are naturally expanding their range into Tennessee from the southern border states. TWRA has not stocked any alligators in Tennessee. Alligators expanding into Tennessee is just another species that we must learn to coexist with like many of the other southern states.
Alligators are opportunistic feeders that prey on fish, turtles, snakes, frogs, and waterfowl. Occasionally they will feed on larger animals such as possums, raccoons, and deer.
Alligators can survive Tennessee winters by going into a hibernation-like dormancy called brumation. They can withstand periods of ice by sticking their snout out of the water before it freezes which allows them to continue breathing.
TWRA would like to remind everyone that alligators are a protected species and catching or shooting one is a violation of the law. If you come across one while exploring the outdoors in West TN, leave it alone and enjoy Tennessee’s unique biodiversity.