Texas is home to many alligator sanctuaries. Much like the rest of the flood-devastated area, they too have been struggling to keep their heads above water. One sanctuary in Beaumont holds hundreds of reptiles, including snakes, alligators, and even crocodiles. The animals were moved to higher levels as the floods grew. It is not just the reptiles in sanctuaries that are feared to be unleashed on the Houston area.
Alligators and snakes also inhabit much of the wild in Texas and as explained here by Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist, Kelly Norrid:
In Houston, you’ve got pretty much two things: Where you build, which is higher, and where you don’t build, which is low. Wildlife is going to seek the higher areas, which happens to be the places where we build. Mammals that don’t want to be in the water . . . may end up being in your attic or garage.
Gators like living in swamps and so the flood conditions are not really their cup of tea. Saying that, they are obviously being forced to evacuate and move into areas they usually do not inhabit. Norrid explains further:
We’re hearing reports of eight-foot alligators in the front yard. But that’s not really unusual in southeast Texas.
The Auburn University Museum of Natural History’s assistant research professor and reptile connoisseur David Steen, wrote an email explaining how residents should deal with possible encounters with alligators during the flood:
The advice I would give people now is the same advice I usually give: A little common sense goes a long way. Be conscious of where you put your hands and feet and do not try to mess with animals. Getting in a fight with you is really low on the list of a snake or alligator’s priorities right now.
They’re trying to get through the storm, too.
The displacement of so many people and animals has been both shocking and heartbreaking, as the clean up continues, there will be no doubt more stories of incredible survival.
Featured image via screengrab from YouTube.