SAN ANTONIO – Alligators are fairly common in the waters of East Texas and South Texas but they're not often seen in San Antonio area lakes and waterways. Many fisherman and boaters have heard stories about gators on Calaveras Lake but many just consider them urban legends.
Monday morning those fish stories were confirmed when local kayaker and angler Eugene Mora posted a video of a large gator floating in the waters of Calaveras Lake near the dam.
"The myth, the urban legend is true. There is at least one gator here and he's pretty big. He's a pretty animal," Mora said. "I noticed something out on the water and that log started moving. It was a 7-foot, 8-foot gator."
Mora was planning to do some fishing but instead moved in closer to the gator to document it's size and to prove that it was in the lake.
"He was just minding his own business," Mora said. "He was just scoping me out the way I was scoping him out so no aggression whatsoever."
Mora shared his video on Facebook with friends who shared with more people. By Monday afternoon news of the gator sighting had gone viral and even the park was warning visitors about the unusual guest spotted at the lake.
"They've been coming out here and warning us," Patricia White said. They've been letting everyone know, 'Hey gators have been spotted, we seen video, there is gators in the water, please be careful.'"
The gator sightings have all occurred near the dam, right off the shore where kayaks, canoes and other small craft are launched. Hipolito Cruz watched as his friends paddle out toward the gator but he stayed on shore when it went under the surface.
"I wasn't going to get in the water man, until I saw it come up again," Cruz said. "Who wouldn't be scared of a gator, it's not like we live in Louisiana where it's a common thing. The park let us know before we paid if we still wanted to come in here and kayak since there was a gator in here so they did warn us."
With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching Mora is hopeful the park will post more warnings and that visitors will leave the gator alone.
"The safest thing to do would be to let them know, give them like a public notice, because he is here and he's 7 to 8 foot and he could cause some harm if he wanted to," Mora said. "Just keep an eye out. He's doing his thing, don't poke at him, don't cast at him and try to hook him, because he just wants to eat fish and do his deal."
Patricia White hopes visitors will follow the rules and stay out of the water.
"Everyone needs to just listen to the warning signs about no swimming in the lake as long as you mind that you should be OK," White said. "You don't want to dangle your legs out there or anything else. You never know what can happen. This is new to us out here and we don't want to see anyone get hurt."