Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Southern MD Alligator Continues to Escape Authorities

Chesapeake Bay Mag, Second SoMD Alligator Eludes Capture

After an American alligator was caught and killed by a hunter in Calvert County, Md., back in June, there is another alligator on the loose just one county away, in St. Mary’s.

News spread in late August that St. Mary’s County was investigating reports of an alligator in the town of Hollywood, which lies along the Patuxent River. A local wildlife rescue, Gentle Hands Wildlife, spotted the gator after initial reports of its existence surfaced a year earlier on social media.

County Director of Emergency Services Steve Walker says after the report a year ago, county officials did some looking, but couldn’t find a gator, and dismissed it for lack of credible evidence.

But then, Walker tells Bay Bulletin, Dave Edwards of Gentle Hands walked down to the pier in an area of Hollywood he goes to frequently, and “in between the pier and the boat was the alligator. Of course it felt the vibrations of him being there and it immediately submerged.”

Walker isn’t just taking Edwards’ word for it: there is photographic proof (that the county is hesitant to share for fear the gator’s location would be revealed and someone would target it). A county employee who is a drone enthusiast has a picture of the animal, which Walker estimates is about 8 feet.

I doubt anyone raised an alligator to 8 ft and then released it. It's pretty clear the adult alligators survive Southern MD winters just fine. It's probably too cold for a self maintaining population to survive, though. Maybe with a little global warming... It wouldn't surprise me to find out that alligators lived here during the Holocene climate optimum, a period just after the end of the last glaciation when temperatures were distinctly warmer than they are now, despite extensive whining about global warming,

Edwards has taken it upon himself to come up with a plan to trap the gator. But unlike the ill-fated 7.5-foot-long alligator trapped just north of Drum Point in Calvert County, this reptile would be relocated to Florida instead of killed. Edwards has authorization to capture the gator from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, but the agency stipulates it must be transported elsewhere.

So far, Edwards hasn’t been successful in catching it.

“He is actually seeing it fairly frequently but he just can’t get it trapped,” Walker says. The county could destroy the alligator, but it hasn’t posed any specific threat to humans so far, so Walker sees no need to at this time. “If it really did become a threat, it’s likely we would consider destroying it.”

Maybe they need some help from Nicole Spenc: 

The Wombat has Late Night With Rule 5 Sunday: Kate Upton ready and waiting at The Other McCain

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