The Trouble with Gators
Reptile pulled from local pond one of the bigger ones,but he’s not alone in Hopkins County

Cari Trock | News-Telegram Staff Writer

A trapper took this alligator, measuring almost 8 feet long, from a pond north of Sulphur Springs earlier this week. A game warden says alligators aren’t all that uncommon in the area.
Photo Courtesy of Sean Reneau

June 17, 2005 - An alligator measuring almost 8 feet in length was taken from a Hopkins County farm pond this week, and guess what? There could be more like him out there.

“It was a bit unusual to find that size of a gator here, but gators do travel around through the swamps of Hopkins County, so it is easy for an alligator to end up in a pond right outside of town,” said Hopkins County Game Warden Sean Reneau.

The 7-foot, 10-inch alligator weighing an estimated 150 to 170 pounds was captured Monday in Jimmy Clifton’s pond on Moonlight Mile Farm, located on Hatchetville Road north of Sulphur Springs.

Alligator hunter Mark McDonald set traps beginning around 12:30 p.m. Monday and finally caught the reptile about 5:30 p.m. It took another half an hour or so to load the creature into a vehicle for transport to an alligator farm in the area.

Alligators are active and prosperous throughout the southern and eastern parts of Texas during the mid-March through mid-October months and can reach a body length of anywhere between 6 and14 feet.

“As the creeks and streams dry up, more alligators are relocating to ponds,” said Reneau. “There are more alligators around this area than people realize.”

The alligator was formerly an endangered species but is now a protected game animal of Texas.

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