Friday, April 30, 2010

New Photos of the Lampasas River Alligator

Eric Dominowski, the fisherman who spotted an alligator in the Lampasas River above Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir last week, read my post on the incident and contacted me via email. Eric was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about the sighting and offered to send me several photos not published by the Killeen Daily Herald in their article last week.

Mr. Dominowski said he was approximately 25 feet from the gator when he started snapping pictures. He said as they moved closer the gator slipped into the water and disappeared. He did not see it surface again though he admits to not hanging around very long to look for it. Mr. Dominowski estimates the alligator was at least 6 feet long.

Judging by the photos below this is a very healthy alligator. The width of its head, neck, and back are impressive. I was also impressed with the thickness of this alligator's tail. This guy seems to be doing just fine in the Lampasas River. There is nothing in the photos to judge the size of the gator accurately but the characteristics seen in this specimen lead me to believe it is decent sized and, while possibly young, no mere juvenile. It would not surprise me a bit if it turns out Mr. Dominowski's estimate on its length turns out to be on the low side.

Enjoy the pictures below. As far as I know this is the only place online that you will be able to see them. A big thank you to Eric Dominowski for allowing me to post the pictures here.













69 comments:

  1. The tail is massive on this gator. Hope no one swims near here.

    Chris B.
    Dallas, Texas

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    1. Um we use to but im not going any more

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  2. I agree that it looks longer than six feet.

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    1. It's actually about 12 feet.

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    2. That's what I was thinking

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  3. Wtf!! I swim in the lampasas river all the time with friends we have a nice swimming hole. I hope we do not ever come across a monster like this. I heard bout gators bein around I just never beleived it!!

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  4. I lived along the Lampasas near Highway 195 back in 1998 and 1999 we saw a four foot gator most of them summers there.

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  5. I told you fools several times I used to run trout lines at night and she was always out and not afraid of us at all she is dangerous stay out of the river! Several ppl laughed at me when I told them about her and one was letting their kids swim rite there where the pic was taking just up stream from alligator island thank God she has plenty of food but it is still just a matter of time before she snags a kid! I heard her drag wild hogs in the water at night the hog would scream for a min and all would go quit again. She was almost as long as my 16ft Lowe John boat she is every bit of 13ft if not more there are several 4ft-10ft in the river also! Be careful out ther and happy fishing!

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    1. And it's people like you that will set off a frenzy and folks will be out to hunt it down. All these years and she's done nothing. Let her be. You wouldn't want her coming to ur house and attacking you....so stay out of hers.

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    2. It's for safety? I mean I get what you mean but only if she kills someone go out and kill her? Buy if someone was messing with her like honestly! We're not saying go kill her just stay away from that area Okay? Thank you.

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    3. Gators are attracted to the sound of splashing water. To them it's an animal in distress. So yea a swimmer could be mistaken for an injured animal. Don't risk it.

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  6. I've known about gators down there since late 80's . But nobody listens to me.

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  7. Seen that gator before followed it with my boat about 2 years ago. At the time it was 8 to 9 feet at least. I've seen plenty of small gators in there. Swim in there all the time.

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  8. i would love to hunt it. nice pair of boots then and great eating for a week indeed.

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    1. Please dont, were lucky to have such a specimen this far in central texas.

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    2. I would love to see that gator hunt you and make a nice meal

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    3. I agree.....I've heard of them being in the river but never been lucky enough to see one.....leave it alone and it'll leave you alone..

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  9. I am a retired Emergency Communications Officer for Bell County and there have been alligators in the Lampasas River for at least 30 plus years, as a kid my grandpa told me there were gators there and I did not really believe him...he was right...

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  10. That gator is at least, 7.5 to 8ft long and at least 3ft across! This is a dangerous animal, and everyone needs to think twice before jumping into this river. It doesn't matter if it has plenty of food this gator would have no problem taking down a full grown person!

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  11. That gator has been there for years. I remember it being in a cove down the street from my grandparents' house off of FM1670. It's gotten bigger.

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  12. I would hope that ( if needed ) this Gator would be trapped and relocated if necessary. If there are too many of them , then of course , other measures taken to insure peoples safety !

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  13. We have a ranch on the river. Near youngsport. We see them frequently. Seen one that was 10ft in 2012.

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  14. I agree kill it and make some boots

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  15. That is one big gator - looks 12 feet in length but there is no real way to tell from this image without something in the background we can use for scale. There are gators in every body of water in all the gulf coast states. They really travel all over the state and move from body of water to body of water all the time looking for nice new places to hang out and find food. My good friend has 30 acres with 4 ponds and he always has gators in his ponds. They just show up all the time - different ones that are just passing through. He has dogs so he feeds them cheap dog food and they leave his dogs alone. I would watch the dogs hang out around the pond and bark at the gators but the gators did not pay them any attention. The gators were nothing like this one and only 3 - 4 feet long and docile. I lived on Still House hollow lake for 4 years and Belton lake for 12 years and there are gators in both of those lakes and I swam all the time there an never a problem. I would think somebody needs to catch this gator and take him to a place where it cannot bother humans. I believe all animals have the right to live...Gator would make some nice boots and gator balls though.

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    1. Just curious as to why you would think that all alligators travel all the time? Alligators are very territorial animals. And with that maybe you need to do some research on them. An alligator is tolerant of humans but some bulls will attack for no reason so will the female if she has babies anywhere near her.

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  16. I think it's awesome that they're there. I think the idea of capturing and relocating a creature that is living its life in its home, just for the convenience and safety of people who intrude on that space, is ludicrous. So many beautiful creatures, dangerous and otherwise, have gone from indigenous to extinct from Central Texas, and for what? Because we can't respect an environment that belonged to them long before we settled here? Whether they managed to survive here on their own, or if they're the result of people dumping their "pets" into the wild, they're no danger if you give them the respect they deserve. The more natural landscape we steal from the creatures these reptiles feed on, the more of an asset to our environment they become.

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    1. I agree :-)

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    2. If you think that humans are invading on them... maybe the whole human population needs to be fixed so that we don't multiply to much.

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    3. I agree! With you too Chelsea..

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    4. Easy for those who don't live or work near here to say. Why don't you take your own advice and leave us alone?

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  17. Gators don't attack unless you corner them or get to close to a nest

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  18. they have always been there 15 years ago i worked on a ranch in Oakalla they were there then

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  19. It's like the snakes and swimming armadillos... it happens, but it's kind of better that we don't know, or think about it. been there for years, met my share of wildlife, and we never had an issue, just wouldn't leave a child outside the 'herd' of people. You've all seen that one stray gazelle in the river.

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  20. For some reason this gator looks fake. I am not saying the man is not truthful but it looks a little strange.

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    1. Honestly I do believe you are correct. This particular picture may be photo shopped. Look at the reflection in some of them. And with every alligator documentary I have watched it shows the gator completely submerging and getting wet as he floats. Not that high out the water and not wet at all.

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    2. You may think this image is fake, and it may well be, but if you YouTube alligator in stillhouse lake, I have two videos I posted on there of an alligator near the island on the lampasas on two different occasions. They ARE in there. Lets just leave them be.

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    3. Yeah cause that gator so ain't on the rivers edge on a sloping bank .......

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  21. Whats the bounty of this beast? Looks like we could make a tv show out of it.

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  22. Hell ya finally sombody with a brain leave it alone. We are far worse than. any other animal on the planet.

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    1. Indeed! It'll only hurt someone if it's not respected, and it deserves far more respect and space than we do.

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  23. How. about. instead of moveing or killing an animal. so it can't bother humans why don't. those humans just move and realize. that we aren't. the only creatures. that should be

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  24. Swim, fish, kayak there all the time.. Swam in the Lampasas river for all of my life. Let it be, and leave them alone.

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    1. I agree I have kayaked and fished there for a few years now. I grew up in east Texas where we swim with gators around all the time. Like most Americans they are looking for an easy meal not obnoxious fat headed idiots.

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  25. The clock is now ticking on this gator just enjoying life in a secluded section of the river. Just a matter of time before we see a FB posting with it hanging from a hook.

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  26. I see him every time I go out he is definitely bigger than 6 foot. The one I see is like 10ft long and there is more than one !!

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  27. I grew up in the bayous of SE Texas where alligators are plentiful. The fact that a 4 year old post about a single alligator is still active is comical. They are very tolerant of people and like said above, they will not attack unless provoked or your near a mothers nest. Crocodiles are aggresive, not alligators. Just keep your little dogs close by. ; )

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  28. Looks like some good eatin

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  29. Great photos of a large rubber smiley fake gator. Look close folks, by the way I grew up in Lampasas and Kempner and Cove and Oakalla and all we ever saw were large catfish and cotton mouth water snakes.

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    1. Really? How'd these idiots kill it, then?

      http://m.tdtnews.com/news/article_54e53c44-f528-11e4-bb96-f38ce804c613.html?mode=jqm

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  30. That gator is protected by the state, ask any game warden is this area.

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  31. The game warden already knows about the gators and they are protected.

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  32. Southern GA guy here.... We swim in creeks with gators on a regular basis since i was a kid. People/media like to blow things out of proportion and they have no clue what they are talking about. Go ahead and look at how many people are attacked by gators and or killed. Don't be afraid of what you don't understand or have experienced!

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  33. people gators only attack if you are messing with it

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  34. Do a search for 'Texas alligator kills late-night swimmer'

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  35. My son and I caught a 16 inch gator on the river last week while fishing off 2484 just south of the bridge... It was a good educational experience for my son to hold and see one up close and get some pictures before releasing in back into the river.

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  36. I live by cedar gap!!!! Y'all our gators alone!!!!

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  37. I have lived in the area since 73 and I remember reading about a man yrs ago who caught a gator in the stillhouse. He took it home and contacted a game warden who told him they are not only endogenous to the area but are also an endangered species. Therefore killing or even capturing them carries a healthy fine as well as possible imprisonment. Just so you all know before you start hunting.

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  38. I hope they capture and relocate her. It's just a matter time before someones child comes too close to her or eggs she may have laid.

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  39. I would not want one of my kids to accidentally come across her. At her size I hope they capture and relocate her before something tragic happens and they are forced to kill her.

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  40. They make a loud snapping sound when they miss. Most of the time all you see is the nose and eyes. I would not get too close.

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  41. Some idiots killed that gator :( They didn't have to kill it, they could have just cut the line. But, then they wouldn't have had anything to brag about on Facebook.
    http://m.tdtnews.com/news/article_54e53c44-f528-11e4-bb96-f38ce804c613.html?mode=jqm

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  42. Well I sure won't be taking my family there.

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  43. Just leave her alone don't mess with her she will be fine

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  44. Her name is Bessie. She is gentle, likes her belly rubbed, and prefers beef to pork.

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  45. The gators have been in there over 20 years..biggest I've heard of is 10-12 feet. Lots of deer and people's pets have disappeared over the years..

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  46. Ive contacted the corps of engineers for stillhouse hollow lake....they have confirmed gators are there and they have been monitoring the gators. I was told the gators stay up the Lampasas river wnere the water is warmer and havent come even close to the big portion of the lake. Was told its because the water is colder & cleaner then they like, so they stay up the river. I have fished, swimmed & went camping on that lake for many years now and haven't seen a gator yet. Once I do..that will be the end of me ever getting in that lake again.

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  47. Remove it or shoot it. A kid is going to get eaten.

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