Georgia Tech - Savannah is a campus that is surrounded by wildlife, which some see as a nice quality.
There are various wildlife (Deer, fox, snakes, and the occasional alligator, among others) that sometimes roam the grounds on and around the campus. So everyone has to be a aware of our surroundings in a different way than students and staff located on an urban campus.
You should remember that all of these animals, including snakes and alligators, would rather avoid you as much as you would like to avoid them. Occasionally, however, you may find yourself occupying the same piece of sidewalk or grass as one of these creatures. The safest course of action is to simply turn and walk in the other direction. That is what the animal would like to do as well. Be aware that even a deer can be dangerous if it is frightened and thinks it is trapped. Calmly walking away gives the animal a way out and creates distance between the two of you.
Here are a few additional tips to remember as you go about your daily activities on campus:
- Be aware of where you are stepping, particularly if you are near the ponds or otherwise off the sidewalks or paved areas.
- Do not pick up, play with, tease, or otherwise aggravate any snake that you encounter. Though the vast majority of the snakes here are non-venomous, we do have a couple of venomous snakes in the area (copperhead and rattle snake), and even a non-venomous snake can bite and cause a wound.
- If you find a snake of any kind inside or close to a door of a building, call Captain Whitmire (404-798-0664) or the front desk in Student Services (966-7922). Captain Whitmire or someone from Facilities will remove the snake.
- Do not wander around the ponds after dusk or before dawn. The snakes are more prevalent around the ponds and it is harder to avoid them at night. Again, most of them are not dangerous but it is best to avoid them.
- Another reason to avoid the ponds at night is that the campus does have the occasional alligator that migrates to our ponds and they are primarily active at night. Again, they are generally timid and would rather avoid human contact, but can be dangerous if startled.
- If you see a alligator in the pond, please do not feed it. Feeding animals such as that can cause them to lose their fear of humans and sometimes become aggressive in their quest for food. Because of this it is against the law to feed wild alligators. If you see an alligator outside of the pond near any of the buildings or parking lots, call Captain Whitmire or the front desk immediately.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact:
Captain Tony Whitmire
Georgia Tech Police Department
The Georgia Tech Office of Emergency Preparedness offers courses on a wide variety of topics and subject matter. If you or your staff have a specific topic that you would like to receive training on, the Office of Emergency Preparedness can tailor a course for your specific needs. Please contact Captain Whitmire for details.