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Posted by W von Papinešu on April 29, 2003 at 08:40:23:
There's an unpleasant video-link at the URL on this one.
KTRK-ABC 13 (Houston, Texas) 29 April 03 Katy resident outraged at treatment of alligator (Chris Adams)
Some residents of a Cinco Ranch neighborhood are angry and shocked at what they call inhumane treatment of an alligator.
People who live in the Shadow Bend subdivision found a nine-foot alligator in the street. They say they really didn't have a problem with the gator. They just wanted it gone. What they did have a problem with is how the animal was treated by folks with the Parks and Wildlife Department.
It happened last Thursday morning when residents in the subdivision on on Lodgestone at Cannondale woke up to find an alligator in the middle of their street.
"They live on the golf course out here. We see them in the pond back there, so he was only like a house away from his territory," said resident Laura Brumbauth. "He was just laying in the street and everyone was getting their cameras and watching him."
The nine foot gator sat there quietly for hours. Eventually, the Fort Bend Sheriff's Department arrived and then came a game warden from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. At first, the crowd thought the game warden was relocating the gator.
"I think the consensus of the group was that he was here to save the animal," said resident Georgia Daley. "The animal was also, I think, in danger because it was in the middle of the street. It could be run over. It wasn't in its habitat. It just needed to move."
Instead, the game warden tied the alligator to his truck.
"He tied the alligator up and started dragging him down the street and that's when everyone started screaming because he was dragging him too fast and he was flipping and turning and it looked pretty cruel," said Brumbauth.
"When I see that animal laying there, even on the video, it enrages me to think that someone could be so cruel," said Daley.
The game warden then took the gator to the end of the street and fatally shot it.
"If a child was in danger, if a pet was in danger, by all means dispose of the animal. I won't go that far," said Daley. "But if that animal can be saved, then save it."
We spoke with Tom Harvey of the Parks and Wildlife Department. He said alligators that are less than five feet in length they do try to relocate. However in this case, he said,
"Safety is our main concern. This nine foot gator would not have been safe to capture and relocate." He also says alligators that have become comfortable around human being are more dangerous.