NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) —The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is warning drivers to be on the lookout for potential wildlife hazards as the warmer weather approaches.

Jeb Linscombe, the Alligator Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is warning drivers to be aware of animals, like alligators that may be crossing busy roadways.

Linscombe said now that the weather is warming up alligators are looking for food and their next mate.

“I would say alligators in Louisiana are no different than any other form of wildlife, so annually multiple motor vehicle accidents happen, probably more so with white-tailed deer than any of the species, but obviously other wildlife are involved in accidents like raccoons, rabbits, possums, pretty much all animals, so alligators are no different.”

Linscombe said many of the state roads and highways cut through their habitat, and drivers may be more bound to animal-related accidents.

He added if an accident happens, and you strike an animal with your vehicle call 1-800 Game Thief.

The 24-hour number is available and drivers can also visit lagatorprogram.com

Linscombe said, not to pick up the animal and take it home to consume.

“If a deer is hit by a car and is injured and or killed it can not be picked up and you can be ticketed for the animal, alligators are no different.”

He said it is illegal to pick up an animal hit on the road for consumption.

‘The reason it is illegal is that you can’t prove you killed the animal accidentally,” said Linscombe.

Additionally, if an alligator or wild animal is found on your property here are some tips:

  1. Try not to handle the situation on your own
  2. Stay away from it and remove pets, children, elderly.
  3. Immediately contact Wildlife and Fisheries, 1-800 Game Thief, or one of their district offices.

Linscombe warned residents not to feed alligators.

“Alligators are not dangers and are more scared of humans, with the exception if you feed them,” he said that is when alligators can become a danger and will no longer be scared of humans.