7-foot alligator caught in East Texas lake

Published: Jun. 28, 2016 at 9:01 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 28, 2016 at 9:48 PM CDT
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Mark capturing alligator in Wood County (Source: Mark Mcdonald)
Mark capturing alligator in Wood County (Source: Mark Mcdonald)
Gator caught by Mark Mcdonald (Source: KLTV News Staff)
Gator caught by Mark Mcdonald (Source: KLTV News Staff)

WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Wildlife experts are warning East Texans to be careful around lakes this summer after an alligator was caught Tuesday morning.

Mark McDonald, who captures alligators for Texas Parks and Wildlife, says a 7-foot gator was caught in the waters around Holly Lake Ranch, in Wood County, Tuesday morning.

"He's a male. In 5 years, he'll be 10-feet-long and weigh 300 pounds. At that time, you don't want him in Holly Lake with houses all over the shore and poodles walking up to the water," says McDonald.

He was looking for an alligator Tuesday that is much larger than the 7-foot one that he caught.

"They had a ten foot alligator hanging around a point, so I made sets for it last night and it got some of the bait, but I didn't catch it because this little one tripped the set," says McDonald.

With that said, McDonald just wants you to be cautious, even if you're on land this week.

"Every major lake in Texas has alligators. Out of 196 people that have been killed in the United States by alligators, 132 of them were on land," says McDonald.

Even though the alligator McDonald caught is only 7-feet long, he can still be deadly.

"He can still break your arm off, and pound for pound, I've seen a 10-foot alligator flip a police car over and rip the bumper off," says McDonald.

McDonald warned, if you see them, make sure you give them space.

"Don't put yourself in a position to get hurt, you have to go into their habitat most of the time to get hurt," says McDonald.

Mark McDonald says he will be relocating the alligator to Jefferson, Texas. He says they generally hunt at night, so it's best to avoid those areas as the sun goes down.

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