Arlington officers trying to trap alligator in Cravens Park

ARLINGTON -- Some Bebensee Elementary students arrived at school Friday with big news: They had seen an alligator in a creek nearby.

Sure, sure, adults said.

Turns out, the kids know their reptiles.

For most of Friday, city animal control officers were out in a creek in Cravens Park, in southeast Arlington, trying to trap what appeared to be a 5-foot alligator, said Mike Bass, assistant director of community services.

Animal control was called about 10:30 a.m. after an adult at the school, skeptical of the children's story, went to check it out.

"Right now, we're just in the process of waiting and consulting with [Texas] Parks and Wildlife. We're trying to snare him or her, whatever it might be," Bass said. "He's been popping up every once in a while, but he's pretty shy right now."

The critter will be taken to the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge after it is captured, he said. That process involves a metal cable and some bait that only an alligator could love.

"We just used a possum that was deceased on the side of the road," Bass said. "They typically don't like anything fresh. So you have to get something that's kind of rancid."

The creek is well away from any houses, which mostly have fenced back yards, he said.

"It could have been something someone got from a flea market and decided they didn't want anymore," he said.