For Texas natives, stumbling upon a wild animal isn’t just unsurprising, it’s an expected daily occurrence. Texas is home to over 140 different species of mammals alone, some of which are found only in the Lone Star state.
Then, of course, there are the reptiles. The blistering heat of Texas makes it the perfect environment for all manner of scaly creatures, from lizards to snakes to skinks.
And while some are perfectly harmless, such as the three-toed box turtle and the brahminy blind snake, others should be avoided. One example of an animal in the latter category is the American alligator.
One of only two alligator species left in the world, American alligators are prevalent in Texas. According to wildlife officials, close to half a million of these alligators call the Lone Star State home. Most of them, however, remain in the lakes, marshes, and swamps that provide their ideal habitat.
With that in mind, avoiding these frightening animals seems easy enough. Sometimes, however, it’s a bit more difficult to do so than simply keeping a safe distance from alligator-infested waters.
But does anything really surprise Texans? No, not really. So when a Lake Worth native went to her local ATM and was startled by a “hissing” 3 1/2-foot alligator near the machine, she knew exactly what to do.
Texas Police Respond to Report of an Alligator at a Local ATM
It was 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning when Lake Worth police officers responded to the unusual call. Upon arriving, the officers called in backup from the local Texas Parks and Wildlife game warden, who helped to capture and relocate the wayward alligator.
On Thursday (September 2), the LWPD shared the incident on their social media accounts. In the accompanying video, an officer can be heard saying, “We’ve never seen a gator outside of the lake, ever.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t have thought he would’ve come up this far,” another agreed.
#LWPDAlert // CRIKEY! ALLIGATOR IN CUSTODY— Lake Worth Police Department (@lakeworthpd) September 1, 2022
Last night, our officers responded to a wildlife call at a local ATM “hissing” was reported near the ATM. Upon arrival, a 3 1/2 foot alligator was located! Our friends @TPWDnews arrived and relocated the alligator. Never a dull moment! pic.twitter.com/u4y7SudcwH
Rather than expressing fear of the alligator, however, the officers were smiling and laughing the entire time. Using a catchpole, the game warden and police worked together to subdue the alligator. They then transported it “to an appropriate habitat nearby.”
The officers’ approach to the capture of the (relatively) small alligator was quite fearless. The Lake Worth Police Department, however, urged citizens to exercise caution around the dangerous reptiles.
“Please…leave the handling of wild animals to the professionals at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department,” they added to the clip. Should locals want to “report a dangerous animal or an animal in distress,” they need only call the LWPD.
The Lake Worth Police Department also clarified that, thankfully, “no animals or officers were hurt” during the incident.