Earlier this week, the state of Florida was hit by Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds over 180mph. Although Irma has since been downgraded to a “tropical storm,” it’s still causing a massive amount of damage due to flooding. As a consequence, numerous animals have been displaced, including many alligators. For example, just recently, a displaced alligator was caught on video casually walking on the side of the road in Melbourne, Florida.
At the start of the video, which was taken by the Melbourne Fire Department, the massive reptile can be seen slowly creeping along the side of the road. Moments later, it picks up speed and quickly crawls away. Off screen, the cameraman is heard laughing. “There he goes,” he notes as the animal scurries off into the distance. “I’m outta here,” he added, speaking on behalf of the alligator that just ran away.
Similar alligator sightings were also reported across the state of Texas shortly after they were displaced by Hurricane Harvey, a powerful Category 4 hurricane with incessant rain, sustained winds of approximately 130 mph, and gusts of up to 155 mph that struck numerous towns along the coast of Texas.”
For instance, Brian Foster, a resident of Lake Houston, recently found a massive 9-foot-alligator lying on the floor of his dining room while he was looking at the damage done to his house by Harvey with a clean-up crew.
“I walked through the house and was looking at demo-ing the house when I turned around and walked back through my dining room. I looked down, and there was a [roughly] 10-foot alligator in my dining room,” recalled Foster while speaking to reporters.
Immediately after seeing the alligator, he called the Harris County Precinct 4 and asked them to help him remove the dangerous animal. Upon arriving, they first took a picture of the intruder and posted it to Instagram with the caption: “Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman’s Office responded to an intruder call at a residence near Lake Houston. Upon arrival, deputies were met by a large alligator who made his way into this flooded home. Constables will soon be delivering the alligator back into his natural habitat.” Several officers then worked together to catch the large reptile, carry it outside, and place in the back of a pickup truck.
Foster was not the only person in the state with an alligator problem. In Missouri, Texas, a woman recorded two alligators swimming in her backyard. At the start of the video, filmed by Arlene Gonzalez Kelsch, an alligator can be seen floating in her flooded backyard.
Offscreen, Kelsh is heard saying, “so here’s the gator moving along. You can see him. He’s kind of taking his time. He’s inside of the fence again” before pointing the camera at the part of the fence where the alligators were able to get in from.
Kelsh then pans the camera down towards a second, much closer, alligator. “Not too far from just climbing into the backyard and getting right here to the patio,” she notes before ending the video.
On Twitter, Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office told residents not to be alarmed by the alligators swimming around and encouraged them to simply keep their distance until the water level decreases. Specifically, they tweeted, “gators and flooding advice via @txgatorsquad: Expect them to be displaced. Simply looking for higher ground. Leave alone until [the] water recedes.”
— FBCSO Texas (@FBCSO) August 24, 2017
Once the storm passes over Florida and the water starts to recede, the alligators that were displaced by the storm should start returning back to their natural habitats. Hopefully, during the transition, no one is attacked by any of them.