By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s spring, which means that alligators are on the move for mating season. On Tuesday, May 7, an alligator measuring 8 feet and 6 inches was removed from a sand and gravel pit on FM 2025 outside of Cleveland where the reptile had taken up residence under a gravel shaker.
Because of his proximity to workers at the sand pit, the alligator was captured by animal wrangler Chance Ward of Tarkington with the help of Robert Reynolds, a manager at Texas Concrete Sand and Gravel, and Sgt. Adam Hobson with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
“They were afraid someone was going to get hurt by the gator,” said Ward. “I had to rope him out of a hole under the shaker. That was a little different than having one up on land with me. When they are in the water, you are in their territory.”
The recent rains had pooled under the shaker, creating a small pond that was perfect for a traveling alligator to hang out for a while, said Ward.
“We got him roped and removed. We called the game warden and made sure everyone was okay with what we were doing,” he said.
Late spring through early summer is the time of the year when alligators are more likely to come in contact with humans as they search for mates. Last week, a 12-foot-long alligator stopped traffic on FM 3126 near Lake Livingston in neighboring Polk County. The stubborn beast, who refused to get out of the road, had to be removed by game wardens.
Ward has been involved in numerous nuisance alligator removals and says that the alligators are not only more likely to be seen this time of year, they are more aggressive.
“They are looking for females and are running other males off from their territory. They are getting real territorial,” he said.
Ward and Hobson released the captured alligator in a lake off of Low Water Bridge Road. Reynolds said the alligator will have plenty of other large gators to keep him company.
“I’ve seen a bunch of 10-footers and some 12-footers in the lakes and ponds off of Low Water Bridge Road. There are a lot of them out there,” Reynolds said.