Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Massive Gator Taken From Lake Livingston

According to a report on the Click2Houston website, another huge alligator has been killed in east Texas. The story, written by Hasti Taghi, details the story of a monstrous alligator that was caught and killed in Lake Livingston near the Westwood Shores community. You can access the story here.

It seems the gator was spotted multiple times by frightened members of the community. The residents are certainly no strangers to alligators but the sheer size of this reptile gave them cause for concern. That being the case, they notified the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

The TPWD contracted a trapper named David Hunter to capture and remove the alligator. Hunter was successful and managed to capture the reptile. According to Hunter, the big gator had just attacked a deer. The bull gator measured 14-feet in length and weighed in at over 1,200 pounds. The alligator was euthanized shortly after being captured. Hunter said that he had little choice in the matter as attempting to relocate a gator this size would be just too dangerous.

TPWD officials said that the drop in water levels on Lake Livingston were likely behind this big gator showing up in the residential area. According to the officials, and Westwood Shores residents, alligators are being seen far more often this summer than is typical. Texas, of course, is suffering through the worst drought in the last 75 years.

It is unfortunate that the big alligator had to be killed. I will not play armchair quarterback and second-guess trapper David Hunter on his decision to put the gator down. No doubt, it would have been a dangerous undertaking to relocate an animal this size. While the article points out that the alligator had not harassed residents or their pets, the situation was untenable. The fact that the alligator was in this area in the first place was probably because it was having trouble finding food in its usual haunts. A hungry alligator of this size making itself at home in a residential area where there are, no doubt, young children is just not acceptable.

Unfortunate? Yes. Necessary? I’m afraid so.

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