Susie Polston had fallen asleep watching “Friends” on television. She woke in the late night to a loud intruder on the porch outside her Mount Pleasant home.
“Somebody’s trying to break into the house,” she told her family. They secluded themselves in the master bedroom and called 911. But then the racket quit. Ben Polston, 16, her son, snuck a look and started yelling, “Oh my God, I found it! I found it!”
He’d found it all right. In the early hours of Easter, a nearly 10-foot alligator had clambered up the back stairwell to the second story porch of their home, crunched through the aluminum screen door and made itself at home between the sofa and a swinging bench. It lay there like a plastic prank, but when they rapped on the window glass, it lifted its head.
The New York Daily News’ great mind, the same Gersh Kuntzman who recently suffered from PTSD as the result of test firing an AR-15, waxes indignant over the demise of alligators from the Disneyworld lagoon, who were dispatched by the local authorities in the aftermath of one of them killing a visiting two-year-old.
Did something just go wrong? Well, kill all the animals!
That remains the standard stupid human reaction whenever our control of nature goes awry.
Like on Tuesday night after a 2-year-old was apparently eaten by an alligator on an artificial beach near Disney World. The response? Local officials killed four gators.
No disrespect to the suffering family, but let me get this straight: We built a man-made ecosystem in the natural environment of a known predator, stocked it with fish for our amusement, built a hotel with a beach on its banks, let kids wade into the water, express shock when one gets eaten — and then we kill the animal for doing exactly what animals do?
Obviously, in Kutzman’s twisted worldview, Barack Obama ought to be conducting an apology tour of the Everglades, expressing America’s regret to saurians for imperialist occupation of their swamps and deploring the species-ist view that human life is more valuable than reptilian dining.
The 2-year-old boy who was dragged by an alligator on the shores of Disney’s upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa remained missing early Wednesday — as authorities continued their desperate search for the tragic tot.
Jeff Williamson of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said additional personnel would be deployed to assist in the search-and-rescue operation.
“Right now we’re going to bring in some fresh eyes and continue with the search,” Williamson said, the Orlando Sentinel reported. “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.”
The boy, who was vacationing with his family of five from Nebraska, was on the shoreline of the Seven Seas Lagoon on Tuesday night when the gator — estimated to be between 4 and 7 feet long — attacked him.
His dad tried to pry him loose from the animal but was unable to, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.
“As a father, as a grandfather, we’re going to hope for the best in these circumstances, but based on my 35 years of law enforcement experience, we know we have some challenges ahead of us,” Demings said, the paper reported.
Allentown police confirmed local officials corralled an alligator around 7 p.m. Friday after hours tracking it through the Lehigh Canal. On Saturday morning, the reptile was on its way to a preserve in the Poconos.
Travis Benitez, 18, spotted the 31/2-foot gator while fishing in the canal. The teen said he’s been fishing in the canal since he was 7 years old and “never saw anything like that in my life.”
The gator prompted lots of activity. Police got a call around noon. City officials called for assistance from reptile and wildlife experts and tried to get the alligator to the bank. Keith Galvin of Galvin Wildlife Control of the Lehigh Valley tried to hook the alligator, which he says is a humane way to get the reptile out of the water.
“It won’t hurt him, he has alligator skin,” he said as he tried to capture the gator.
The rescue operation proved to be challenging because of the dense seaweed-like grass lining the water. Also, the alligator blended in with the canal with only its eyes rising above the water.
When a fisherman spotted an alligator in the Lehigh Canal in Allentown earlier this month, it made for a few tense hours as authorities tried to corral the carnivore. Keith E. Galvin Sr., of Galvin Wildlife Control in Upper Macungie Township, eventually was successful in hooking the gator and then turned it over to a reptile preserve in the Poconos.
A plastic crate, typically used to carry a large dog, was ready for the gator once it was corralled.
While Allentown won’t be confused for the Florida Everglades, there have been alligators captured in the waters of the Queen City in the past.
In September 2009, Allentown police, a city fire marshal and animal control officers captured a 6-foot alligator — believed to be the biggest ever found in the Lehigh Valley — sunning itself on the bank of the Jordan Creek
A suspected burglar jumped in a Florida lake apparently hiding from law enforcement before an 11-foot alligator killed him, investigators said Monday. His hand and foot reportedly turned up inside the animal’s stomach.
Brevard County Sheriff’s Maj. Tod Goodyear says 22-year-old Matthew Riggins told his girlfriend he would be in Barefoot Bay to commit burglaries with another suspect. Authorities received calls Nov. 13 about two suspicious men in black walking behind homes and investigated. Riggins was reported missing the next day.
Goodyear said sheriff’s divers recovered Riggins’ body 10 days later in a nearby lake, and that the injuries suggested the alligator had pulled him below the surface. “He hid in the wrong place,” resident Laura Farris told Bay News 9.
Authorities said Riggins drowned and the alligator, which behaved aggressively toward divers, was trapped and euthanized.
the late 11-foot (3.35 m.) alligator resident of Barefoot Bay who ate him.