Why Don't We See Any Alligators Roaming Washington State?

Growing up in Washington State, I swam in many WA rivers like the Yakima and Snake rivers, and was hoping I'd see an alligator (I was eight years old).

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Have There Been Alligator Sightings In Washington State?

As an adult, I'd much rather avoid any creeper crawlers when I'm paddle boarding on the Columbia River.

However, I've always been fascinated if alligators could be roaming the waters of Washington State.

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We've all seen those crazy videos of alligators on those Florida golf courses coming and snatching up golf balls and then scurrying off. If you came across an alligator in the wild, I'm sure you'd jump sky-high.

So why don't you alligators roam the waters of Washington State? 

In reality, Washington State's climate and environment are not ideal for supporting a population of alligators.


These reptiles thrive in warm, tropical climates with access to freshwater sources like swamps and marshes - conditions that are not typically found in the Pacific Northwest.

While individual alligators can survive for short periods in colder climates, it is highly unlikely that a sustainable population could exist in Washington.

So as you can see, my childhood dreams have been crushed knowing that the odds of running into an alligator in Washington outside of a Zoo.

You are more likely to come across Bigfoot than an alligator in the wild here in Washington State but we can all dream.

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Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals