Record flooding throughout Texas last month has caused alligators to appear in unexpected places throughout the Lone Star State.
Since the Memorial Weekend floods that swamped much of Texas, residents have reported spotting several gators in urban neighborhoods.
On May 28, a large gator was found sheltering in a Houston office building. The building, which was located next to a bayou, was closed during heavy rains, and rising waters apparently allowed the reptile to access the garage. The animal was captured by wildlife experts and relocated to an alligator farm.
Alligator hunters have reported a boost in business since the floods, snaring dozens of the reptiles spotted outside of Texas suburbs and waterways. Gator hunters say the animals usually end up in unfamiliar territory after trying to escape fast-moving floodwaters that can exhaust them.
As it is currently mating season for gators, they can be even more dangerous than usual, so professional hunters say its best to leave wrangling the creatures to the experts.
While most of the floodwaters have receded, experts are warning residents to keep an eye out for displaced wildlife.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has advised Texans to look for snakes seeking dry shelter. The department also announced that residents may see dead bats that were killed by the storm, and discouraged people from touching them as they may have rabies.
Mosquitoes, long the bane of many a Texan, are also expected to get worse since there’s plenty of standing water for the pests to breed in. The flood has brought many an animal to an unwelcome location, but gators are probably the only ones capable of triggering a call to 911.
Consider it one more reason to never venture into a flooded area. If the threat of drowning, disease, or even chemical infection isn’t enough to keep you on dry land, know there’s also a good chance of a hungry gator lying in wait beneath the water.