An Unlikely Suspect
Alligator creates a mini panic on Galveston beach, but no worries — the bacteria is worse!
It's hard to imagine what creepy crawly creatures swim around in the already questionable Galveston water. But out of all the unknowns, spotting an alligator just a few feet away, might be one the last things you guessed — seconds before hightailing it out of there.
But that's the scenario beach-goers at Galveston's Bermuda Beach faced over Memorial Day weekend.
KTRK Ch. 13 showed a video that a viewer sent in of the supposed freshwater lurker's encounter with animal rescue and police officers. The viewer described it as like, "a scene from a movie." Maybe Jaws, or that movie with Betty White and the killer alligator . . . Lake Placid?
"Alligators tend to avoid people like the plague."
Thankfully, no injuries were reported and Hollywood had nothing to do with it. The gator was safely released in a marsh near Brazoria County.
This beach gator has had plenty of company in the news too. There were also gators spotted near a northeast Houston H-E-B and a massive one's been roaming through a Fort Bend neighborhood. At least those alligators were somewhere close to their natural habitat though.
The Galveston gator is more of a mystery.
The Curator of Reptiles at the Houston Zoo, Stan Mays tells CultureMap that although uncommon, it is not impossible for an alligator to get accidentally get flushed from local rivers into the bay.
"Typically they do not like saltwater, and if it was out on the beach chances are that it did not want to be there," Mays says.
It's not the first time an alligator has wandered off near Galveston. Mays attributes these sightings to strong weather and natural disasters, like Hurricane Ike that tend to cause shifts in the environment, leaving animals to fend for themselves in unlikely places. However, Mays is confident that there are other, more significant things to worry about at the beach this summer.
"Alligators tend to avoid people like the plague," he says.
"I would be more worried about the bacteria and jellyfish in the Gulf."