KLTV 7 News Goes Gator Hunting - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/18/08- Tyler

KLTV 7 News Goes Gator Hunting

It's quickly becoming the talk of the town: an alligator may be lurking in a public pond in Tyler.

As we showed you on Friday, one gator was already caught overnight in the Glass pond, near the Glass Recreation Center. But some said they saw two gators there, meaning one could still be at large. KLTV 7's Courtney Lane did a little gator-hunting Friday and tells us what precautions wildlife workers are taking.

An 8-year old, 6-foot female gator was captured around midnight Friday from a public pond near Tyler's Glass Recreation Center.

"There were so many people there yesterday and it just swam around," said Smith County Game Warden Chris Green.

"I hung some bait out and some snares out and she hid in the brush and I slipped a noose over her," said professional trapper Mark McDonald, who helped catch the alligator.  "I pulled the noose tight, got out of my canoe, and drug it up-shore. Then I taped its mouth shut where it wouldn't hurt anybody."

But some said they saw not one but two gators at the pond. It prompted workers to put up signs warning people of a "possible alligator."

If there is another big gator lurking in the waters, he may be lured with a trap. Wildlife workers hung up pieces of chicken around the pond.

"It's going to be too cold the next two nights for one to move, but Sunday night or Monday night if there's anything left, I'll catch it," said McDonald. 

While some are keeping their distance, others are coming to do a little gator-hunting of their own.

"It was unbelievable," said Mitchell Bell of Tyler.  "I was excited. I wanted to get an opportunity to see it for myself."

Wildlife experts said the gators probably got there by coming down Black Creek, which runs near the pond.

"Possibility there's another grown one and maybe some babies in there," said Bell. 

There's been a lot of speculation, but as of Friday evening, there have been no more gator sightings. We'll have to wait and see if he takes the bait.

Game Warden Chris Green wants to remind everyone that if you do see an alligator, don't feed it or throw anything at it. Simply leave it alone, and call authorities.

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com

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