Alligator Habitat

It was startling to encounter this "CAUTION-ALLIGATOR HABITAT" sign in the center of the University of Louisiana campus in Lafayette. More helpful suggestions on this surprising sign: "Keep pets out of the lake; Watch children; Do not feed alligators."

UL Lafayette, home of the "Ragin' Cajuns" sports teams, is the only university in the U.S. with a swamp on its campus. The building in the background is the Student Union, housing facilities with colorful Deep South names such as the "Bayou Bijou" movie theater and the "Gumbo U" registration office.

These cypress trees were originally the only residents here, but the area was flooded during World War I to create a water reserve for fighting fires from possible air attacks. Today it's a swamp, and the unique Cypress Lake contains bullfrogs, turtles, and an abundance of fish in addition to the alligators.