Animals

Houston's Next Big Problem Could Be Escaped Alligators

The horrific flooding in Houston, Texas at the hands of Hurricane Harvey is devastating. People are being displaced, having to leave all their belongings behind in order to flee for safety. As water levels continue to rise, damages rise as well.

More than 30,000 people have been evacuated, looking for shelter as Hurricane Harvey strikes. But there's one aspect of the flooding no one is thinking about at the moment, and it could prove to be extremely dangerous.

As water levels rise, more and more alligators are becoming common sights in the yards of people across Houston, and they're coming dangerously close to houses.

While one or two alligators may not seem like a big deal, Gator Country begs to differ. So what could happen if the flooding goes to the next level?

Gator Country is an alligator rescue and adventure park in Southeast Texas.

Photo: Guiseppe Barranco

"We're getting calls left and right about sightings," owner Gary Saurage said. "There's just no way I can respond to all of them right now. I'm focused on containing all our gators here."

With more than 350 alligators in its care, Gator Country says any more rainfall and water levels will rise so high, the animals will be able to swim over the fences.

“We’re less than a foot a foot from [water] going over the fences,” Saurage told Fox News. “All of these re-certified, high fences, but when it won’t quit, it won’t quit. We’ve worked around the clock and I don’t know what else to do. We’re truly tired. Everybody’s at the end of it, man. We don’t know what to do.”

Kim Brent

“I’ve never seen [the water] stay anywhere near this before,” he continued. “The staying power of this storm is just unbelievable.”

The park is home to alligators, crocodiles, venomous snakes, and other potentially dangerous creatures. According to Saurage, anything that's not native to Texas has been captured and stowed away high enough that they can't escape.

“Everything that is not from here, we’ve put up and we have in a safe place, but we live with alligators,” Saurage said.

Photo: Stuart Marcus

As for how to handle an alligator near you, Saurage says to leave it alone.

"People need to let the water recede and these alligators will go back to their natural habitat," he said.

The potential of alligators swimming the streets of Houston while rescue missions are underway could be extremely dangerous. The animals are extremely territorial, and having them lurk in the water would make them practically undetectable.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas as Hurricane Harvey continues to hit hard.