Biologist on uptick in alligator attacks, incident involving corpse: 'The populations have exploded'

A surge in alligator attacks in Florida has left residents concerned, and biologist Jeff Corwin reminded "Fox & Friends" viewers that the formally endangered beasts are still dangerous predators.

Two people were bitten by alligators in Florida last month, including a five-year-old girl who was forced to get 11 stitches after the attack. In St. Petersberg, a group of about 10 alligators were seen eating the "badly decomposed" body of a 16-year-old boy on Thursday.

During a Monday morning appearance on "Fox & Friends," Corwin said it's "very, very rare" that an alligator would kill a living person and eat their remains, and that the instance in St. Petersburg likely happened after the person was already dead. However, both the human and alligator population is constantly increasing in Florida, and the tendency for people to forget their true nature leads to unfortunate mishaps.

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"The truth is, is alligator populations have exploded," Corwin said. "What you need to keep in mind is that alligators just a few decades ago were critically endangered. They are one of our greatest conservation success stories, to the point now they are no longer endangered."

As alligators increase in numbers, so is the state's population, Corwin continued, claiming that 3,000 people move to the southern state each month.

"If there is a body of water in Florida, if there is a pond, a swamp, a lagoon, even a swimming pool, it's very likely there is an alligator nearby," he said. "We both share this ecosystem together, and that is where you get situations like this."

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An additional concern is that people seem to have lost sight of how dangerous alligators can be, and have begun to feed them and marvel at their size. As alligators become more exposed to humans, they become less fearful of them, Corwin said, and may even rely on them for food.

"People need to recognize is that these are powerful, powerful creatures," Corwin added.

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"A lot of the conflict and a lot of dangerous scenarios that unfold between human beings and alligators happens when people lose their respect for these animals," he continued.

"You have to respect them and give them space."