• Man spots alligator in Hoquiam River


    HOQUIAM, Washington - A Hoquiam man said he got the shock of his life Wednesday when he was walking to work and spotted an alligator in the Hoquiam River.

    Justin Barlow was walking over a bridge Wednesday night when he spotted something splashing in the water. When he looked down, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

    “Are you ****ing kidding me?” he said he thought to himself.

    He said he believes the gator was about three feet long. He tried to get a photo, but wasn’t fast enough.

    “It dove underwater before I could get the camera out,” he said.

    Barlow went home and called police. He also posted word of his encounter online and found a few skeptics.

    “The first question I got was, ‘Dude, are you high?’ and my honest answer was, ‘I wish that I was – that would explain why I was seeing an alligator in the river,’” he said.

    KIRO 7 did some research and found the owners of a now-closed pet store in Hoquiam sold as many as a dozen American alligators before they were told to stop. It’s possible someone released one of the gators into the river, but it’s not likely to survive long in the cold water.

    “It’s just a stupid, dangerous idea for whoever let it out,” Barlow said.

    The Hoquiam Police Department overlooks the river. They said so far, Barlow’s is the only gator sighting.

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