Lakefront signs in Mandeville warn of dangerous reptiles but a problem... _lowres

Advocate File Photo

In Louisiana, alligator sightings in populated areas are relatively common. But alligator sitings? Not so much.

But that may have happened in Mandeville, where city workers have placed signs warning visitors to the city’s picturesque harbor in large letters that an alligator has been “sited” in the area.

According to Dictionary.com, a sighting is “an occasion on which something is seen.”

A “siting,” on the other hand, is a form of the verb “to site,” which means “to place in or provide with a site; locate.”

It seems unlikely that Mandeville leaders meant to suggest they placed the alligator near the harbor.

A notice on the city’s website cites — unless it sites — the increase in sightings as a reminder to residents to be careful. The reports of local sightings have come in the aftermath of an alligator attack in Florida in which a 2-year-old boy died.

The sign itself suggests which word officials really intended. Below the text where the “siting” is noted and visitors are urged to “proceed with caution,” they are encouraged to call the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries anytime a gator is “sighted.”