Texas alligator relocated after people fed and threw things at the animal, officials say

‘Dollar Store Gator’ in Port Aransas was relocated to Beaumont

Alligator - generic photo. This is not the gator captured Monday in Port Aransas.
Alligator - generic photo. This is not the gator captured Monday in Port Aransas. (Pixabay)

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.

10ft 1 inch Nuisance Alligator catch in Port Aransas, Texas. Bringing this big ole boy back to Gator Country! Named him “Fin” after one of our favorite restaurants there!

Posted by Gator Country on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.