One Dallas County sheriff’s deputy was in for quite a shock earlier this morning when during his patrol outside of a middle school he saw what he thought was a log — until it began moving. Turns out the Southern Dallas deputy had actually discovered a 7-foot-long alligator in the fields outside of the school and it took considerably manpower to capture it.
The deputy who found the monster of an alligator in the fields outside of a Dallas’ Steam Middle School reportedly called for help immediately, and based on the size of the animal and the time it was found, help could not come fast enough. It took members of the Texas Game Wardens, as well as deputies from the Dallas County Sheriff’s office and Dallas Animal Services, to contain the alligator and fortunately, school had not started yet when this all occurred.
The officials from the Dallas County Game Warden arrived at the scene about 4 a.m. this morning, but the deputy had found the alligator near the Middle School on South Polk Street a little after midnight. The Game wardens worked in tandem with the sheriff’s department in order to capture the randomly found alligator. The officials had to ensure that neither the reptile nor the persons involved were hurt. WRAL reported that a catch pole had to be used to hook the large reptile around the neck to capture it, and then the wardens had the responsibility of taping its mouth shut so as to prevent injuries.
“It’s a defense mechanism, especially when we put the noose on it. I think it would be pretty scary. Big alligator like that would scare anybody.”
While it is still a mystery as to exactly how the alligator ended up so close to the Dallas ISD’s STEAM Middle School, Game Warden Jamie Sanchez has speculated that the gator wandered to the field, which is near Interstate 20 and Polk Street in southern Dallas County, from the nearby Trinity River. There do exist a few creeks in that area of Dallas, but no obvious wetlands. Sanchez advised that alligator sightings in Dallas are actually not that uncommon, though the size and location of this one is a little less common, and his office receives a few calls each year about loose alligators in various neighborhoods. As a matter of fact, the Inquisitr covered a story just three weeks ago about an alligator who walked right up to the front door of a South Carolina home and seemed to make repeated attempts to ring the doorbell before eventually wandering into the woods.
Sanchez also expressed that he is pleased with how the capture of the 7-foot alligator was pulled off.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, alligators are in fact native to North Texas, and it is more likely to spot one of them near to a stream or river. Apparently, according to NBC 5, the alligators sometimes move in-between different habitats to breed in the spring and summer season.
Once the 7-foot alligator found outside of the Middle School was captured it was placed in the back of a truck owned by the Game Warden, and he has assured the public that no harm will come to the gator. Reports are that the large reptile will be released at a game preserve in southern Dallas County.
In addition to the Dallas County Game Warden, Animal Services and the Sheriff’s department the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) was also present during the capture because of how close the alligator was found to the STEAM Middle School.
Tips for what to do if you encounter an alligator are available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
[Photo via Joe Raedle/Getty Images]