Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 19th, 2009
Recent news about crocodilians reveal (1) the usual, old thread about gators being found out-of-place, and (2) also a decidedly new one, a heightened interest in showing woman who have killed alligators. (See more images and the video at the end.)
Just to revisit, there are some good reasons for why cryptozoologists should be interested in gator and croc sightings.
As I first mentioned in my books and then here in 2006:
1) some Lake Monsters are initially reported to look like alligators;
2) some water cryptids may turn out to be alligators or other pet croc escapees;
3) keeping track of the expanding or pet escapee enhanced alligator range is a good idea;
4) field-aware cryptozoologists like to know if there are any dangerous animals in the path of their pursuits; and
5) out-of-place ‘gators are cool and very Fortean.
Of course, getting killed and eaten by a gator is not cool, but it might be Fortean.
Recently, ocean crocs have been in the news in disputed sightings in the Caymans, as discussed here earlier today.
But where were the recent out-of-place gators?
On August 27, 2009, a 2.5 foot alligator was pulled from Big Wheeling Creek in Moundsville, West Virginia. Local officials said it wasn’t Marshall County’s only recent gator encounter. A larger alligator was caught in Fish Creek about a year ago.
Meanwhile, some kind of creature had been seen for over three weeks in a pond in Stacy Park, Trenton, New Jersey, before it was captured on September 2, 2009. Lured into a dog cage that contained a chicken leg and thigh, Linda DiPiano, a state wildlife biologist, took custody of a four-foot alligator. News helicopters hovered in air space above the backyard of Edwin Gonzalez where officials held the alligator inside a cage.
“Since the sighting several weeks ago we have checked our (traps) every hour starting at about 6:30 in the morning. I wasn’t expecting a phone call but when it came I rushed right over here. We rowed out toward the cage and then I saw the alligator’s head pop up inside the cage. It was pretty exciting, of course, something that nobody at Animal Control had ever been involved in,” said an official.
“An alligator in a Trenton pond? It’s been pretty cool. I will take a good alligator article over somebody being robbed or shot. I don’t mind the people coming down here. It’s been great,” Gonzalez said.
“Man, this has been exciting. The alligator has been eluding us for some time so to row up to the cage and see it there was pretty cool. Luckily, this ends with us safely catching the alligator and nobody getting hurt. The way these people are hanging around this alligator, I guess you could say it’s become a celebrity.”
One week after that 4-foot alligator was snared in a Trenton pond, a much larger cousin was caught in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Early on the afternoon of September 9, 2009, a passerby reported seeing a 6-foot gator sunning itself on the bank of Jordan Creek in a busy park with a playground, basketball courts and baseball fields.
“We formulated a little bit of plan,” said Police Capt. Stephen Mould. “I think it was based primarily on what we watched with ‘The Crocodile Hunter’” – the TV series hosted by Steve Irwin before the Aussie was killed by a stingray’s barb.
The police said the gator weighed about 130 pounds.
On September 17, 2009, one incident noted that Tigard’s House of Reptiles owner Tim Criswell agreed to take in a moderately-sized American alligator (above) that was found in a Vancouver, Washington, creek.
Now to females being discussed killing gators….
The first such event that was widely publicized said that a South Carolina junior varsity cheerleader from White Knoll High School spent part of her September 12-13 weekend hunting alligators. Cammie Colin, 16, (shown in the tie-dyed shirt) helped land a gator that was 10 feet, 5 inches long and weighed 353 pounds, in a swampy area near the town of Santee. She then used a crossbow to shoot and kill the gator at 3 a.m.
Soon after that Arianne Prevost, 23, of Florida, got lots of notice when she bagged a 11-foot gator, also with a crossbow, during an alligator hunt on September 17, 2009. Her photographs have been published extensively.
Who says it was just St. George who slayed the dragon? Of course, I must ask, why?
Thanks for the news tips on the Trenton and Allentown gators from Andrew D. Gable. The news of the women killing gators was splashed all over the Internet.
Thank you for your continued support of the coming grand opening of the International Cryptozoology Museum in downtown Portland, Maine. Help us continue this great adventure and help share cryptozoology through a greater public location.
Please click on the button below (not the one up top) to take you to PayPal to send in your museum donation.
If you wish to send in your donation via the mails, by way of an international money order or, for the USA, via a check or money order, please use this snail mail address:
International Cryptozoology Museum
PO Box 360
Portland, ME 04112
Thank you, and come visit the museum at 661 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101, beginning November 1, 2009!!