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      Safe to swim with alligators in local waters?

      This past weekend, an 11 foot alligator was found in the Flint River. Some people are asking, is it safe to get in the water? Knowing there are alligators in Lake Chehaw and the Flint River Deborah Cook doesn TMt plan to get in the water any time soon.

      No I wouldn TMt. And I wouldn TMt be advised to take my grandchildren out, says Cook.

      It TMs not uncommon to find alligators roaming local waters.

      We have a lot of alligators in the water. They come wandering up in the park. We TMve been in the morning coming into the Rhino exhibit and find one in the pond out there, says Chehaw Park Executive Director Doug Porter.

      Some lake-goers say they wouldn TMt get in these waters knowing that there are alligators in them. But officials at Chehaw say it is OK but just be careful.

      I wouldn TMt just hop off the dock and go for a swim from out here in the lake because it is unknown, says Porter.

      Alligators do tend to stay away from humans because they TMre used to the roughness of water skis and boats. Even then, officials say to respect the animal and its habitat.

      People think it TMs cute to go out and feed hot dogs to them and watch the alligators come up and eat. Then they get used to humans and they associate humans with food. That TMs what we really don TMt want, says Porter.

      Despite officials saying it is safe to get in the waters, Cook is still keeping both feet on land.

      I TMm going to stay on the dock or on the boat, says Cook.