An 11-foot, 1,200-pound alligator was relocated from a Texas neighborhood over the weekend, thanks to the quick thinking of a passing resident.
It started as a Sunday night like any other. Cornealous Greigg Jr., a resident of Missouri City, Texas, was driving home long after sundown. Suddenly, he spotted something glowing strangely out of the corner of his eye.
Turning the car around, the Texas resident realized he wasn’t imagining things. Something was glowing in the road – the yellow eyes of an 11-foot, 3-legged alligator.
“I saw his eyes. I didn’t see him, I saw his eyes,” Greigg told ABC 13. “So, it made me do a U-turn, and then when I did the U-turn, I drove slow, and then I saw him.”
“He was ginormous. He was huge. I’ve never seen one that big up close.”
The Lone Star State is home to some 500,000 alligators, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Though they don’t inhabit the whole state, their range is expansive, stretching from northeast Texas all the way to the southern tip and the Gulf of Mexico.
A suburb of Houston, Missouri City falls directly into this area. As such, this wasn’t the first time the Texas resident had seen an alligator in the neighborhood. On the contrary, by Greigg’s estimation, this sighting marked the seventh in his 10 years in the area.
With plenty of gator encounters under his belt, Greigg knew what to do. While remaining safely inside his vehicle, he called the police for help and kept his eyes on the meandering reptile.
Massive alligator relocated to Texas rescue park
Shortly after Greigg’s call, Texas police arrived at the scene, taking over alligator watch duties until a professional reptile wrangler could make their way over. Though police sometimes do the gator catching themselves, relocating this 11-foot behemoth wasn’t going to be an easy task.
Timothy DeRamus, known as Houston’s “Gator Wrangler,” had more than enough experience to handle even the crabbiest crocodilian. Even for him, however, subduing an animal 6 times larger than himself was exceedingly difficult.
At 1,200 pounds, even a grizzled gator with only 3 legs is quite an opponent.
“I had to get his mouth secure and taped up,” DeRamus explained. “He kept throwing the rope and towel off, snapping his jaws, and swinging his tail at me. He kept flopping around at different angles where we couldn’t get him high enough to get him in the bed of the truck.”
“An alligator like this could knock my leg off real easy. He’s just a massive beast.”
With the alligator and the Texas reptile wrangler exhausted, there was only one job left to tackle. But how do you move a 1,200-pound gator?
Using a wrecker, that’s how. For a truck capable of moving wrecked vehicles with ease, a massive alligator would be no problem. The wrecker hauled the angry alligator to Gator Country rescue park, a sanctuary for Texas’ nuisance alligators.
We’ll never know for sure how the colossal crocodilian lost its leg, but the Gator Wrangler has a few ideas. “Maybe he was threatened by another alligator and decided he wanted to get out of the water and get away from that alligator so he wouldn’t lose another limb,” DeRamus said.