Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mixed emotions and a goodbye to our back yard friend.

Well…after our gator killed a large raccoon and then the very next day an opossum, I knew that it was time to call someone. So I called the animal control and they told me to call the Sheriff Department. Two very nice men came out to see me within an hour.

This was 10am.

The one guy was from PA and a super great dude and the other an older man that was equally as nice. They went right out and there was our friend. They walked over to him and he turned and opened his mouth. They yelled at him and so he slowly crawled into the water and then turned to head toward them and lunged for the shore? Yeah…I have never seen two men run that fast! I felt sick! Aghh

At that, they said – Mrs. Mongold…he will be out of her today. He is a HUGE danger! They told me that as soon as he spent more than 10 min on shore I should have called. No neighborhood Alligator should put more than a head onto land. They told me they would try to catch him and that if "they" could GET HIM, they would relocate him to the St. Johns river. Well…after 4 hours of trying…and some close attempts…they had no luck! Crazy watching them try…He was mean and angry and I think I lost about a year off of my life watching them!

After 4 hours they called in a trapper. 2:pm Now.. I knew what this meant. the trapper would say that he would relocate the gator, but the Sheriffs were honest in that the state pays them $50 for a captured gator, and the black market pays them like 500.00. So I knew this was not good for our friend. I burst into tears and begged them to just leave and say that they had never been here.

I felt awful. But at this point..it had already been reported and with his aggressive nature, the Sheriff said there was no way he could walk away now. He was so nice and very understanding of how sad I was, but none the less…our back yard friend.... had to go.

So sad that people fed the gator! Makes me so mad! Just three months ago he was fine - not aggressive, not friendly, and now I see why they say don't feed the alligators! Because they get used to people, lose their fear and then are a danger!

The trapper was a crazy guy – a nice guy, but also an honest guy. He planned to sell him for his hide and meat. And he flat out told me that. He also...without me asking or saying anything added...."And I intend to keep that between you and me because I know the Sheriff's already told you - for anyone else that asks...including your kids - he will be taken to the river in the AM".

Another three hours goes by and NOTHING. 5:pm (we have been at this for 7 hours?) Not even a close attempt at this point. The gator was scared from the last two attempts and hiding deep in the pond. But sure enough...just min before he said he would quit for the day...that darn trapper, snagged the gator with a hook, reeled him in…asked me to bring him his noose!

And TAPE….yeah!! Dear God…what a day!! The kids were on the deck crying…don’t get too close mom! They saw it all!! The man got him on shore, sat on him and bound him up. He was just over 7 feet long and very strong. Kids were able to pet him and get their photos taken with him and say good bye as the trapper drug him to his truck. Said he weighed about 100 pounds.

And so it is done. No more gator…I am sad and have much inner turmoil about what went down here, but I am so relieved that he is no longer in that pond. When I saw what he was capable of…I knew for certain that he had to go from our house! The Sheriff also captured the small gator in the pond across the street, but assured me that it was too small to sell and he would take him to a gator find and release pond in Jacksonville. I felt good about that. Kids got to pet him too! CRAZY day! WE missed our last tennis lesson and didn’t leave the house except for school all day? But a day to remember here on Portside drive!! And to our gator friend. I am so sorry.

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3 comments:

Erica said...

And that man looks so happy to sell that gator! I know you did the right thing, even though you felt badly. Much better used for a hide than Cali used for lunch! What an exciting day in your backyard. I MISS THE MONGOLDS!

dandsratz said...

Oh Renee--I have been SOOO excited to comment on this blog!!! Last night, me, Dave & Alexander crawled up and watched these pictures OVER & OVER!!! Alexander wanted us to read the story again & again!!! Dave & Alexander WERE GLUED!!! This is SOOO exciting, and yet you KNOW that you'll have another baby Alligator soon...the reproduce like rabbits!! Dave said to tell you though that you made one REALLY big mistake!!! You should have paid the tracker the $500 to have him skin the thing and have boots made out of it for YOUR boys!!! he he!! :) What a GREAT blog!!!! I'm glad that he didn't find one of the boys for snack....that wouldn't have been so tasty!! he he!! :)

Dianne said...

It was so funny. While reading your blog, I had to laugh because the music playing was "Let There Be Peace on Earth"! I don't know Renee, I say good riddance. I'm sorry for the alligator, but that's as far as my sympathy goes. Cats, dogs, even rodents are great, but an alligator, no way, no how! What an adventure for the boys and you, though.