Video shows a Louisiana police officer grabbing an alligator after residents reported it had wandered onto their property.
Deputies from the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office reportedly came face to face with the alleged three-foot reptile on Tuesday.
The wild alligator population in Louisiana has risen sharply over the years, growing from fewer than 100,000 to more than 2 million in the past 50 years, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. There are also almost 1 million of the reptiles in farms.
The sheer number of animals poses a risk of conflict with humans. An alligator’s mere presence doesn’t necessarily make it a troublesome alligator, and most will move on if left alone, the wildlife department explains. However, alligators longer than 4 feet that pose a threat to pets, livestock, or humans are considered a nuisance and may be removed by licensed hunters — or in this case, the sheriff’s office.
In the video, shared on Facebook by the Bossier Township Sheriff’s Office, officers can be seen surrounding an alligator lying next to what appears to be a private swimming pool.
An officer kneels over the alligator and tries to restrain it with his legs and hands. The alligator puts up a serious fight, twisting and turning under the officer who is struggling to keep him under control. “He’s strong,” says someone in the clip.
Soon one of the officers tries to pick up the alligator, apparently to remove it from the property. However, this approach proves impossible as the reptile wriggles out of the officer’s hands and slams onto the ground, prompting the officer to place his foot on it.
“I think I’d stand in front of a bullet before I fight that thing,” says someone off-camera.
Eventually, officers can be heard requesting a kennel to contain the reptile, after which the clip ends.
“Many of our animal calls range from free-roaming cattle, horses and dogs to alligators,” Sheriff Whittington said in a statement posted to Facebook. “Our MPs simply have to be prepared for almost every call, because you never know what the day will bring.”
Though not shown in the video, the sheriff’s office said the alligator was safely subdued, removed from the property, and released to the Bodcau Wildlife Management area in the town of Benton.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries states that it is dangerous and illegal for the general public to handle or possess alligators and that people should not attempt to move them when they are on a street, yard, or be seen in another unexpected place.
Safety tips, including not allowing young children to play in or near the water unsupervised and not to swim at night or at dusk or dawn, can be found on the department’s website.
https://www.newsweek.com/alligator-police-officers-sheriffs-louisiana-video-1736482 Watch Louisiana Officer Wrangle Gator in Backyard