(KMHT Radio) - Three photos of alligators sighted in Harrison and Marion counties in the past week; one was inside the Marshall city limits. With all the interest in alligators in our area, we contacted Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Darrin Peeples to find out a little more about gator's. He tells us the reason they are more visible right now is due to heavy rain across our area.
"It's real common when we have a lot of water. The places where the ggator'susually are, they will move out from those places because of the high water, so when the water goes back down, they are in an area where they typically wouldn't be."
Alligators can certainly be dangerous, but are more of a threat to small animals than humans.
"If you see one, by all means, call us. Especially if it's in a roadway where it is a traffic hazard, we along with the nuisance trappers will get over there and try to relocate it if it's a hazard or safety concern. The number one thing is don't try to go 'Swamp People' on it, and try to catch it, let us do that and safely remove it and relocate," Peeples said. "Small animals could be in danger, and that's when you do see one, you need to call us and we can get a trapper out there and try to relocate it before any pets are in danger.
He says Texas does have an alligator hunting season. An individual may kill one alligator per season, and it's actually underway right now.
"It's from April through June. If you have some private property with a pond and an alligator in it, you can shoot the alligator and at the back of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Annual there is a permit, send it in with the designated fee and you'll get your tag. So you kill it, and then you'll get your tag." He cautions though, if you live inside the city limits, you need to call them, not hunt and kill the alligator."That would be a situation when you would call us, and we along with the nuisance trappers would get there as soon as possible and remove it safely."
Peeples says the easiest way to contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens in Harrison County is to call the Sheriff's Department at (903)923-4000, and the dispatcher will contact them and send them to the appropriate location.