12-foot alligator found in Wilson County deemed public safety threat, put down

Alligator found along FM 546

WILSON COUNTY, Texas – An alligator measuring 12 feet long and estimated to weight near 400 pounds was found walking down FM 546 just outside Floresville in Wilson County, Thursday morning. 

Maribel Reyes, who lives near where the alligator was found, believed the may have taken shelter underneath her home during the night. Reyes said her dogs spent much of the night barking, causing her to check outside. 

"I walked out. I didn't see anything, but I would hear something hitting against the trailer house,” Reyes said.

Neighbor Rodolfo Gonzales said his dogs also barked much of the night. 

"I came outside with my flashlight and I couldn't see anything,” Gonzales said. “They were just barking all morning long."

By daybreak, it became apparent what the dogs were upset about. 

"It was a huge alligator,” Reyes said, who saw the large reptile in the roadway.

"I woke up this morning and there was an alligator on the road,” added Gonzales.

The San Antonio River is about a quarter mile from where the alligator was spotted. It would eventually end up in the roadway, leaving the Wilson County Sheriff’s office and the Wilson County game warden to redirect traffic.

While alligators have been spotted before in the area, the size of the alligator was surprising to all. 

"Never have I seen an alligator that big,” said Gonzales. 

The alligator was then dragged into Gonzales yard.  

Gonzales caught most of the action on his cellphone including what happened after the alligator was captured. A licensed trapper was also sent to the scene. The animal would eventually be killed. It remained unclear as to why or who decided to put the alligator down. Texas game wardens said it was a matter of public safety. 


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