Area Getting Up to It in Alligators

Recent sightings, recent discoveries could indicate longtime habitat

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    A Texas Park and Wildlife game warden, according to an NBCDFW report, said North Texans might soon be up to our collective as… um, heinies in alligators.

    "It is going to be more common over the next 10 to 15 years," said warden David Bosecker. "This is their native habitat. They are migrating back into this country."

    Well, nice, now we’ll have one more thing to watch for out at White Rock Lake, like the handful of speed-racer bicyclists on the trails aren’t enough. Where’s Steve Irwin when you need him? What? Too soon?

    The phenomenon, though, might not be such a recent thing.

    The Star-Telegram reported a story about college students on a paleontological dig who found prehistoric evidence of crocodiles dating to the Cretaceous period, so yeah, they’ve been around here for awhile now.

    At least the ones we have now are about 5- maybe 8-feet long contrasted to their ancestors that reached about 20-feet long or more.

    Living Near White Rock, though, I hear complaints from locals whining about the encroachment of wildlife. A coyote killed a cat in somebody’s yard. Someone spotted a fox trotting across a road near the lake.

    Well, no, we encroached on them. They were here first. We should recognize the natural benefits of the animals and their positive impact on the ecological balance. Coyotes and foxes — along with owls, hawks, and other predatory birds — kill and eat a heinie-load of rodents and keep them out of out homes.

    My favorite reply to the they-were-here-first reasoning came from a woman who said, paraphrased, of course, “Nah-ah, it didn’t look that old. I’ve lived here 20 years.”

    People just don’t get it.

    Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He likes animals way more than people.