Wildlife experts are warning residents to be wary of two animals making their way into Tennessee.
In the 2020-2021 Tennessee Hunting & Trapping Guide, released by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), the agency reported that there is evidence that cougars and alligators are expanding across the state, FOX 17 reports.
"There is evidence cougars and alligators are expanding their territories into Tennessee," according to the guide. "Species expanding their ranges into Tennessee are protected and may not be taken until a hunting season is proclaimed. Alligators and cougars are protected by state laws in Tennessee."
The agency continued, "Alligators are naturally expanding their range into Tennessee from southern border states. TWRA has not stocked any alligators in Tennessee. Alligators expanding into Tennessee is just another species that we must learn to coexist with like many in the other southern states."
This isn't the first time officials have had to warn people to stay away from dangerous creatures appearing in populated areas. After warning beachgoers last summer, a police department along the coast of North Carolina told visitors once again that alligators may be spotted along its beaches. Given that the island is part of the gator's natural habitat, visitors are more likely to see some of the creatures laying out in the sun.