Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens pulled a blind 10-foot alligator out of the Trinity River near downtown Fort Worth Thursday.
Game wardens have kept an eye on him for several months after reported sightings and they said, while the gator never caused any problems, they wanted to remove him from the heavily populated area.
"The problem is not the alligator, it's the people," reptile hunter Chris "Gator" Stevens said. "Being in that high profile of a location, people are going to start feeding it. And anytime you have an alligator like this, it's just a matter of time before people poke it."
Texas game wardens summoned Stevens to help catch the alligator after several reported sightings in recent weeks. It took more than a half-dozen men and women to wrestle the gator to shore at Riverside Park.
"He was very tough to catch," Stevens said. "Big gator. Took us a little while. But with some patience, we got him in."
Stevens took the 10-foot-2-inch alligator to a nature reserve. He said it was likely blind in both eyes.
Alligators are known to be in the Trinity, which is their historic habitat. But most gators in Tarrant County are found near the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge and the river north from there. It's unusual to see them near the heart of downtown, especially near so much traffic, people, cars, bikes and more.
Recent heavy rain and flooding may have brought the animal to the area.