Locals Spot 12-Foot Alligator In Road - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/18/07-Rusk County

Locals Spot 12-Foot Alligator In Road

There's an alligator crawling through East Texas, at least according to witnesses. Folks in Rusk County tell KLTV there is a 12-foot alligator in their neighborhood, and it likes taking a stroll along a local road.

"It's a rather large alligator, probably ten to twelve feet long," firefighter Marc Marsh said.

That's about the length of a small SUV.  Marc and his friends were out looking for it Tuesday, with no luck.  He said that on Monday the gator was spotted twice, just crossing the street.

Locals said it's is the perfect environment for an alligator to live in.  On one side of the road there's an entire swamp. On the other side, a bayou. Locals said the gator is just going back and forth to both.

"It's not something you see everyday ... driving down the road and, you know, a 12-foot alligator in the middle of the highway," Marc said.

And for that very reason, many drivers pulled over to see it, including David Todd.

"When he stood up on his back legs he looked like he was two and half, almost three foot tall, and that's how big around he was," Todd said.

He said at first he thought it was a person lying in the street.

"As we got up closer, I looked, and was like ... I couldn't believe it! I mean, alligator so big, he was just remarkable, how big he was," Todd said.

An alligator using the highway and making a lot of friends in the process. 

"Oh, he was friendly, he didn't try to take a bite out of nobody. I mean we didn't mess with him and he didn't bother us," Todd said.

And that's exactly what game wardens advised: Don't touch it, terrorize it, or hunt it.  That way more people can see the amazing 12-foot, one ton, 20-something year old East Texas alligator.

Besides, the Rusk County game warden said alligators are a protected species; therefore, it is illegal to kill one.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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