Posted by David Price on September 22, 2003 at 13:20:44:
In Reply to: Re: Gator Sighting posted by Steve Ball on September 22, 2003 at 12:14:47:
I know gators get big but these seem to be rather large by gator standards. I lived in Beaumont Texas right on the Louisianna line and close to the gulf. I saw gators almost daily for fifteen years and these seem to be very large ones indeed as most seen are around 6-8 ft long. Does anyone have any idea as how these became introduced to the area and when the first sightings happened? I am curious to why they are seen there but not on any of the waterways between there and the lower half of the state where they are regularly distributed. As far as a danger or threat to an adult they are practically unheard of in regards to attack. When living in Texas we fished, swam skied etc and never had a problem. Usually attacks will occur on pets and an occasional small child but very very rarely on an adult human. The most dangerous time is during their nesting period and when the young are first hatched then they will attack anything coming into what they consider their territory or too close in general. In all the years I lived in Texas with a gator density averaging 85-120 per acre I only heard of two attacks on adult humans. One idiot was "inspecting" a nest he just found and the other caught a 10-14 inch one on a rod and reel and didnt release it and mom came looking for it after hearing the distress cries. It is odd and strange for gators to be that far north. While it is illegal to own alligators as pets here it is legal to buy caymons in pet shops and if someone set a couple of those loose when they got too big it may account for the "gator" sitings. Of course a caymon is basically a smaller version of a crocodile which do not fear humans by the way lol. Has anyone talked to the local wildlife officer and gotten any input from the dept of natural resources? I went on a few gator permit hunts in SE Texas back in the early nineties and late eighties. The man I went with would take a piece of nylon rope and put a large hook on it and a chunk of meat about as big as an egg and would tie it off to a cypress limb and let it hang about a foot out of the water. We set out fifteen of these and once we got through came back and if the bait was now underwater you had one. You pull it up see how big it was if it fit your size you wanted youd shoot it in the haed with a 22 hop out in the water and throw it in the boat. If it wasnt the size you wanted you just cut the rope and went to check the next one. We caught a big male that went 12 ft 3 inches and he went 546 lbs and that was considered a very large gator for an area that has always had gators so if these are as big as yall say then they are exceptional animals.
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