Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Arlington Alligator

According to a couple of articles in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram earlier this month, an alligator has been spotted in a pond at Cravens Park in southeast Arlington, Texas which is located in Tarrant County. The park is located a few miles to the northwest of Joe Pool Lake.

According to the article, written by Susan Schrock, the gator was first reported by students of Bebensee Elementary who spotted the reptile while walking to school. The alligator is approximately five feet long and, as of the writing of the last article, has managed to elude capture for more than a week. Several different methods have been tried in an effort to catch the gator. City officials have tried tempting the alligator with fresh and, in some cases, not so fresh road kill. They have also torn down a beaver dam in order to lower the water level in the pond hoping it would isolate the alligator and make it easier to catch. So far, all their efforts have been to no avail.

Mike Bass, Assistand Director of Community Services in Arlington, said that the public and media, who have crowded the area hoping for a sighting, have hampered their efforts to catch the elusive reptile.

"Every time he feels imposed upon, he goes below the water," Bass said.

Bass added that once the alligator is captured it will be humanely released at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge.

Arlington is located in Tarrant County and lies almost directly between Dallas and Fort Worth. As you can see from the graphics below, this is on the extreme northwestern edge of what is considered to be the alligator's range in the state. Based on this, the alligator really shouldn't be considered "out of place", I suppose. I do know, however, and the news articles allude to this as well, that alligator sightings in and around this area, with the possible exception of the Trinity River, are pretty rare. Ordinarily I would say that the best thing to do is to let the alligator alone. If common sense is used there really should not be a problem between the alligator and humans. However, the fact that this gator has taken up residence right next to an elementary school makes the removal of the animal necessary.

If anyone has heard anything new about whether this gator has been captured please let me know.

You can view the latest Fort Worth Star-Telegram article here.

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