Alligator In East Texas Pond - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/17/08- Tyler

Alligator In East Texas Pond

 Around the pond near the Glass Recreation Center in Tyler you can see signs reading Beware of Snakes. They are signs Ericka Carter says she's used to seeing along her walking trail. "They just killed a copperhead. A copperhead, Oh that's it," she says.

But today, one more warning sign needs to be added. "I said, 'That looks like an alligator.' Sure enough, he was laying right there in front of those bushes. I said that is a darn alligator."

That's right, about a 6-foot long alligator. Ericka says she saw two, but all it took was one to set her on edge. "I was just a nervous wreck. What made me really nervous was that alligator could have got my little boy."

Smith County Game Warden Chris Green says sightings like this one are not uncommon. "With the recent rain we've had, some of these creeks are getting up and these alligators are looking for another food source. This is a pretty good pond it's got frogs and small fish and turtles."

But he doesn't advise getting your pets too close. "If you carry a small dog around the pond it may try to snatch one off the bank," says Green.

And if you do find yourself in a similar situation, he says just use a little common sense. "As long as we don't start feeding them to keep them here and get used to being fed, they're going to move on. Of course, the curiosity of the kids wanting to come down here and look at it and feed it sometimes that's when they become aggressive."

As for Ericka, she's not going to take any chances. "I'm not walking out here no more, that's it."

Wildlife workers have set traps for the gator around the pond. They will also be out looking for the gator again first thing in the morning.

Gillian Sheridan, Reporting

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