350 alligators at risk of escaping flooded Texas rescue

by: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:

MISSOURI CITY, Texas - The Fort Bend County, Texas Sheriff’s Office wasn’t kidding when it sent out a warning about alligators, and the possibility of the reptiles showing up in strange and unusual places following Hurricane Harvey.

With so much water in southeastern Texas and communities, including Houston, inundated by flooding, gators are turning up dangerously close to people.

Jefferson Country, Texas, is home to about 350 alligators. They're behind a fence right now, but the flood waters could soon reach over the top, KFDM reports.


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"We're less than a foot a foot from (water) going over the fences," owner Gary Saurage says. "All of these are certified, high fences, but when it won't quit, it won't quit. We've worked around the clock and I don't know what else to do."

In metro Houston in Missouri City, Arlene Kelsch of Lake Olympia, was checking out the flooding in her backyard on Sunday when she noticed an ominous sight: an alligator swimming around awfully close to her home.

"I went to check on him and saw he had moved to another part of my backyard ... but it wasn't the same alligator! That's when I see two swimming around our yard," Kelsch told the Houston Chronicle.

"Holy crap was my reaction. I felt relatively safe seeing them; it's kind of cool. As long as I don't open my door, I'm fine, but it's still a little creepy,” she said in an email to the Chronicle.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office sent out a gator warning on Thursday, Aug. 24.

“Gators and flooding advice via @txgatorsquad: Expect them to be displaced. Simply looking for higher ground. Leave alone until water recedes.”

Kelsch, who said so far her home has not flooded and she’s hopeful that it won’t, is a little more worried about another frightening creature: snakes.

"We have seen some snakes. That's really what I am keeping an eye out for inside my house. Residents here in Lake Olympia will have sightings in the spring of baby alligators, but never inside our backyards," Kelsch told the Chronicle.

Alligators look for higher ground to sun themselves anf regulate their body temperature, even though they spend most of their time in the water.

During flooding in 2016, alligators turned up on beaches near Houston and in other unusual spots in San Antonio, according to The Austin American-Statesman.


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