An uptick of alligators lurking near a boat ramp at a South Florida wildlife refuge is being blamed on visitors feeding them.
As a result, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge is closing the Lee Road boat ramp for fishing until Nov. 2.
According to a news release, a number of "nuisance gators" observed near the boat ramp have been removed and euthanized within the last month.
Park rangers say that one of the main contributing factors to the increased presence of gators in the area is from people feeding them while fishing off the ramp.
The Lee Road boat ramp area will remain open for boat launching, canoeing, photography and wildlife observation. However, fishing will be prohibited within 100 yards of the boat ramp.
Feeding alligators is against the law.
Violators could spend up to a year in jail and pay a $100,000 fine.