JACKSONVILLE, Florida (First Coast News) -- As temperatures rise, so do the chances you could come across an alligator.
And that is what happened to an Arlington woman Wednesday who found a 6-foot gator outside in her front yard. The gator was found in a pond in the conservation area of Point Preserve.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say gators are on the move this time of year and there are several things they want you to know if you come across one.
If you live near or go by a body of water, chances are you might come in contact with an alligator.
"They are coming out of their winter lethargy and they are feeding and it is gator mating season. So they are moving around quite a bit. Everybody is out looking for love. We want people to be aware that you may see a gator where there should not be a gator," said FWC official Karen Parker.
If you do come across a gator, Parker says don't try to give them food or else you will end up getting a citation for breaking the law.
"Don't feed the gators. I don't care what you have seen on TV or how hungry the gators may look, please don't feed them," Parker said. "Number one, it is against the law. Number two, it can get the gators used to people feeding them. They start looking at us like a ham sandwich."
If you do come across a gator, don't take matters into your own hands. Call the FWC nuisance gator hotline at 1-866-FWC-GATOR (1-866-392-4286).
They will dispatch a licensed gator trapper to come out and get the gator as they did here yesterday.
If you are bitten by an alligator, seek immediate medical attention as alligator bites can result in serious infections.