PORT ARANSAS, Texas – A 10-foot male alligator who has been dubbed the “Dollar Store Gator” by residents who have been hand feeding him has been relocated after experts say he was getting too comfortable with humans.
Port Aransas animal control officer Richard Gleason told MySanAntonio.com that the gator had “been showing up on and off for months to the point where half the island was feeding him, and the other half was throwing things at him like glass, rocks and other items.”
The gator was captured Monday and taken to Gator Country in Beaumont by Gary Saurage.
A post from Gator Country notes that the gator was named “Fin” after a Port Aransas restaurant.
Gleason also spoke with KRIS and explained that people have been feeding the animal chicken and hot dogs. “If he’ll come up to you, just as simple as he’ll grab that hotdog or piece of chicken, he can grab you and pull you into the water. Once he gets you in the water, you’re done. There’s nothing you can do to get away from it.”
He noted that alligators don’t understand the difference between your hand and food and if the gator did bite somebody, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials will have to put the animal down.
“It’s kind of an oddity, people want to see it and they want to take pictures of it, but when you feed it you’re making it where it’s not scared of people,” Gleason told KRIS.