Seven Foot Alligator Removed From Steam Middle School Area

A Dallas County Sheriff’s deputy was on a routine patrol during the early hours of Wednesday morning when he spotted an out of place log close to the Steam Middle School in South Dallas. However, when he noticed that the log had a tail and teeth he immediately called for help. It took several deputies and animal services officers along with county and state game wardens to safely capture the 7 foot alligator. Steam Middle School is located close to Danieldale Road and Polk Street near Interstate 20.

Jamie Sanchez a game warden for Dallas County said that the animal was taken captive using a catch pole. The alligator started rolling — sometimes called a death roll — in an effort to free itself from the noose. In spite of that, the wardens were able to tape its mouth shut to prevent it from biting any of the officers. It was then placed in the back of a truck so that it could be transported to a wilderness preserve. The animal was scheduled to go to the Palmetto Alligator Slough Preserve in Seagoville. This special preserve is located in South Dallas County and closed to the public. Unfortunately, a permit was not forthcoming, so it was freed into the Trinity River in the southern part of Dallas County. Sanchez was not sure where the gator came from, but during the spring and summer months they occasionally travel between habitats. There have been a number of sightings in the 710 mile long Trinity River that is part of the watershed for east Texas.

The winters in Dallas are considered to be borderline for alligator survival. Long stretches of cold weather lower the ability of gators to become established in the area. Still, sizable gators are found in Dallas neighborhoods from time to time. In July 2015, a 10 foot gator was found by Dallas County wardens in the Trinity River. A blind 10 foot gator was removed from the river close to downtown Fort Worth also in July 2015. Many people walk, bike and jog along the Trinity River so it is wise to know what to do if you encounter an alligator. For example, if you hear the animal hiss, you are too close. You should back slowly away. For more information on alligator encounters, click here.

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