Local News

Neighbor Nabs Unwanted Gator for Friend

Posted April 9, 2007

— Donald Jones thought his wife was joking when she rushed into their house recently and told him about an alligator in the driveway.

“She said, ‘You need to go out and check him right now.’ So I come out and there he was,” Donald said. “[It] kind of upset me a little bit ... I was scared, to tell you the truth.”

The five-foot gator, nicknamed Oswald, was later taken to a kennel at the Johnston County Animal Shelter. But how the animal got there is another story.

After heading outside to see the gator, Donald and his wife called neighbor Frank Howell for help.

“[Mrs. Jones] told me she needed some help. There was an alligator in her yard,” Howell said. “I asked my son, ‘What did she say? An alligator?’”

No one in the group had ever been this close to a gator, but Howell knew just what to do. He grabbed a homemade snare, some duct tape and another friend.

“Never caught an alligator before. I've caught just about everything else,” he said.

Digital pictures show the big round up, including Donald who stayed in the background on the phone.

“That's the difference between me and [Howell]. I was scared of [the gator]. I was calling for help,” Donald said.

After Frank posed for a few pictures, Oswald the gator was carted off to the animal shelter where he stayed in a cage next to dogs.

Animal Control officials say this is the first time they've had an alligator in the shelter. A state biologist will pick up Oswald and release him along the coast.


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  • jannisheart Apr 10, 2007

    Duct tape works on EVERYTHING now days. I can't imagine how many jokes will come out of this one.

    BTW Pinkpaper that was REALLY funny! Good one.

  • Irishgreek Apr 10, 2007

    Hey,Old lady Edwards,this guy right here would make you a better neighbor!

  • North Carolina Native Apr 10, 2007

    me too Cherry! I thought sure a croc would get him ... stupid sting ray.

  • Roach Apr 10, 2007

    Quick someone call Animal Planet. We may have a new show idea.
    Alligator Frank. The best neighbor a guy could ever have.

  • neutral observer Apr 10, 2007

    Male alligators are territorial. The numbers down east have exploded in recent years driving the young males up the Neuse and other coastal rivers. If Iam not mistaken the Hedingham golf course parllels the Neuse river. As they mutilply we will continue to see a few more. The same trend is happening with the black bear. The major flood that occurred down east a few years ago pushed numerous bear into the piedmont area. The piedmont region can provide a great food source for bear and with that they will stay in the area. A few have been sighted in Johnston and Franklin counties.

  • spiritwarriorwoman Apr 10, 2007

    Navaho1 - "I'm amphibious - I can shoot with either hand" - now what was his name - Dawkins??"

    Joe Willie Namath said that about a quarterback. Don Meredith said, "What does that mean? That he can shoot underwater?" LOL LOL LOL

    Think I just showed my age.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • spiritwarriorwoman Apr 10, 2007

    Great news for people and beasties!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Pastor Joe Apr 10, 2007

    Mr. Jones lives about 2 miles from me. I'm glad the "gator" was found and safely removed before he came my way. Just thankful Donald didn't get bitten by Oswald.

  • 2little2late Apr 10, 2007

    Those Gators are STILL celebrating the NCAA championship weeks later

  • ladyblue Apr 10, 2007

    I'm also glad the gator and people are ok. One thing never ceases to amaze me. People's comments on happy news. Have we as people become so uncivilized that we think news like this is boring and we need to YAWNNNNNN. Laughter is the best medicine for boredom.