What do you do when you see an alligator in the road? Let the Texas game wardens handle it.
An alligator estimated to be about 10-feet long and 500 pounds was talking a stroll across the 5500 block of North Main Street about 10:30 p.m. Friday when law enforcement was called in.
Texas Game Wardens Jon Kocian, of Victoria County, and Trey Kram, of DeWitt County, secured the jaws of the beast before lifting it into the bed of Kocian’s patrol truck.
Arnold Martinez, a 44-year-old Victoria resident, said he was southbound on North Main Street about 11:30 p.m. when he saw the commotion.
“We passed up the emergency vehicles, and I looked that way and saw one of the officers with the rope in his hand and the other getting around the gator’s snout” he said. “It looked huge.”
Martinez works on North Main Street and traveled through that crossing countless times. He said he’s seen a lot of deer in the area but never an alligator.
“I was waiting for my brother earlier (that night) and he was talking forever, so I thought I’d just take a walk,” he said. “Imagine if I actually had – I would have been gator bait!”
Kocian suspected the alligator wandered out of Spring Creek or a nearby swampy area. It was later released into the Guadalupe River, off U.S. 59 near the Victoria Regional Water Waste Plant, he said.
“We wanted to get him back to his natural habitat, rivers, stuff like that (and) get ‘em away from town, as much as possible,” he said.
In the spring and summer, alligators move to breed and find new habitats. It is rare for alligators to chase people because they have a natural fear of humans, but they can run up to 35 mph on land for short distances, according to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.
After nearly 16 years with the Texas Game Wardens, Kocian said he has wrangled and relocated more roaming alligators than he can count, ranging anywhere from 3 to 12 feet.
“It goes in waves,” he said. The more rain we have, they’ll move around for food sources and then in a drought, if the food source starts drying up, they’ll relocate themselves.”
Advocate multimedia intern Charlie Blalock contributed to this story.