Gators Gone Wild in North Texas Lake

Reports of gators on rise

Alligator sightings have people on edge at Lake Worth, and one boat club is warning against swimming.

"There's been a bunch of people seeing it, up in their backyards, that kind of thing,” said boater Jeff Dotson, who spotted one of the gators himself. "It was just swimming along. You could see its snout, and its eyebrows popped up!"

The Lake Worth Boat and Ski Club put up a sign saying, “STAY OUT OF WATER. Large gator seen in area.”

Late Wednesday night a 9 foot gator was snared, fitted with a radio collar, and relocated to Greer Island in the middle of Lake Worth. But apparently this is a different alligator calling the lake home.

Some water skiers are paying little attention to the warning, and experts say alligators are rarely dangerous if people don’t bother them.

"As long as we do leave them alone, we're not going to have a problem,” said the nature center’s Rob Denkhaus.

Some of the alligators may simply be moving downstream following floodwaters from Eagle Mountain Lake, he said.

Other alligators have been reported recently in Arlington.

"I would venture to guess there isn't a body of water in North Central Texas here that hasn't had gators in it recently,” Denkhaus said.

Some visitors to the nature center say they have also seen the gators.

"He was just kind of laying flat,” said Mary Jane Wilson, of Fort Worth. "I'm not scared, but if I see one at the tip of my toes, I'm not going to get close to him.”

Researchers have put up traps around the lake but do not plan to remove the alligators. Instead, they plan to attach transmitters on them to study their movements.

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