Fort Worth

12-foot alligator to be removed from Lake Worth

Last year, a 10-foot alligator that was deemed a nuisance was pulled from the Trinity River east of downtown by licensed nuisance alligator hunter Chris Stevens, game wardens and TRWD employees.
Last year, a 10-foot alligator that was deemed a nuisance was pulled from the Trinity River east of downtown by licensed nuisance alligator hunter Chris Stevens, game wardens and TRWD employees. Star-Telegram archives

A 12-foot alligator has become a “nuisance” in Lake Worth, and the city of Fort Worth aims to remove it soon.

Fort Worth Councilman Dennis Shingleton said Wednesday that the city is “actively working” to remove the old gator, believed to be blind, which has been reportedly bumping into docks on the southern side of the lake.

Shingleton said many gators live in the northern part of the lake, near the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge and the spillway from Eagle Mountain Lake, but recent heavy rains and flooding have moved them out of their normal habitat.

“Many times, they migrate back to their normal habitat on their own, but not this one,” likely because it’s blind, he said.

All alligators are protected species in Texas, so the city had to get clearance from the state before removing it. Shingleton said that last week, state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, helped him expedite a certificate of nuisance, and they got it quickly.

The certificate gives the city 10 days, which ends in the middle of next week, to trap the gator and “move it somewhere where it’s protected and no longer a nuisance.”

Shingleton said folks don’t need to be worried for their safety, “but I wouldn’t let my kids go swimming in the lake until we get this resolved.”

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that an alligator snatched and killed a 2-year-old Nebraska boy from a Walt Disney World beach in Florida. Shingleton referred to the “unfortunate accident” and doesn’t expect a similar incident at Lake Worth.

“As long as you stay out of the water, I think we’ll be OK,” he said.

Mark David Smith: 817-390-7808, @MarkSmith_FWST

It didn't ring the doorbell or pose as a Candy-Gram, but this alligator made a pretty strong run at getting into this Moncks Corner, SC, house on May 2, 2016. Resident Gary Rogers recorded the sight on a neighbor's porch in this short-but-sweet vi

Scott Berry has his heart set on finding the 14-foot "monster" alligator he hooked two years ago and got away. After leading two first-time alligator hunters to Mississippi state records in 2014, its Berry's turn to find the "king of the swamp."

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