Forget the zoo. Who says you need to pay to hang out with wild animals?
Free entertainment, who doesn't love it? For many in the Houston, TX neighborhood of Almeda Genoa, that entertainment comes by way of a friendly little alligator named Timothy.
Fans from all over the world are flocking to a south Texas culvert for their chance to play with the five-foot alligator.
Rumor has it Timothy is being heavily recruited by the downtown Houston aquarium, who has reportedly offered an impressive sign on bonus and has promised to give him the prime time slot for attractions. No word yet if the cast of "Swimming with Dolphins" will give up the slot peacefully or go on strike.
With word of the gator's volunteer act, circuses, county fairs and even local zoos have begun to cancel scheduled summer outings. Residents should check their local news outlets to confirm availability of other shows, however, we're not sure why anyone would want to send their children to visit any other attraction in the region.
During peak season, swimming hours are offered on most days from dawn until dusk.
On a realistic note, as the video suggests, interacting with the gator is not only risky and unsafe but illegal. What's most concerning about this story, and many others like it recently, is how so many people can be illogical and irrational when interacting with wild animals. No doubt by now you've heard about the bison calf story? No? What about the child in the gorilla enclosure? Nothing? Maybe you've seen the idiot burglar who died in an alligator infested pond, the guy that threw a live gator through a Wendy's drive in window, or the unfortunate death of a two year old in Florida courtesy of, you guessed it, another gator.
Unlike the cartoons shown on TV, wildlife in their natural habitat, or any habitat really, are just that: wild. Not only is much of the activity in Houston torturous to the alligator, it is illegal and unbelievably dangerous. Parents bringing their children to take pictures with the gator should consider a medical examination. Where are the protests for this animal's rights? Instead there are crowds of cheerleaders.
We often hear growing up that animals, "are more afraid of us than we are of them." And while that may be true in some instances, humans interacting with wildlife in this manner rarely if ever ends well. The individuals in the video seen baiting the alligator or getting close enough to photograph, touch, cover, or wrestle (seriously, wrestle?!) the wild animal should be ashamed and apprehended.
There is good news at the end of this story. State wildlife officials have been contacted and we trust the authorities in Texas to take appropriate action to safely relocate the
ridiculous individuals wild alligator to a more proper location.