What do you think led to this alligator swimming with a knife stuck in its head?
Alligators aren't uncommon in the lakeside communities of Fort Bend County, Texas, but alligators like the one in this story are quite rare.
A recent reptile spotted by several residents of Orchard Lakes Estates, southwest of Houston, has people concerned. It's quickly made news across the nation.
It isn't the size or demeanor that's got folks upset. It's the fact that this alligator appears to have a kitchen steak knife embedded its head.
"I saw him swimming and then I saw him turn, like swimming towards me, and I saw something sticking out of his head," Erin Weaver told ABC 13. "It looked like a steak knife that was sticking out of his head, I don't know if it was in his eye, but it looked, if it wasn't in his eye it was very close to his eye."
Here's the news report from the local Texas neighborhood:
It's hard to imagine this happening naturally, or the alligator's actions leading to the injury. We're guessing someone did this on purpose, and it's pretty unsettling to think about.
Once Weaver's photo of the alligator spread around social media groups, the community started looking to wildlife experts for help. The local Sheriff's Office can't make a report unless a deputy witnesses the animal, but a Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden is expected to check in soon.
We know these are resilient creatures, and it's pretty hardcore upon first glance. But nothing deserves that kind of quality of life.
Here's hoping it can lead to this American alligator getting the help it deserves, and maybe even point towards a possible culprit.
Of all the things you expect to see in a Texas lake...