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.
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Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.