Local News

Wildlife Officials Issue Warning After Alligator Caught in Harnett County

Posted August 10, 2007

State wildlife officials issued a warning Friday after a Harnett County family and their neighbors captured an 8-foot alligator in a nearby pond recently.

“While alligators are rarely a threat to humans, attempting to trap, possess or relocate the animals without proper training is not only dangerous but illegal,” said Johnny Buck, public information officer for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

With help from their neighbors, a family from Harnett County captured the alligator with fishing poles. The scene was caught on videotape. They then called in wildlife officials to help move the gator to another, safer location, which has not been disclosed.

“Alligator bites can cause serious wounds, and their mouths may carry a host of dangerous bacteria that are difficult to treat with antibiotics,” Buck said. “Even the smallest alligators can host these harmful microbes. In addition, larger alligators can break bones with the swipe of their powerful tails.”

If anyone observes an alligator acting aggressively toward people or is aware of anyone feeding alligators, they should report such incidents to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission by calling 1-800-662-7137.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • weasleyes Aug 12, 2007

    PS: I have also had the rare privilege of going out to Wrightsville Beach and seeing snow go to the edge of the ocean! What a blessing! No one can ever take that memory from me. Go Panthers! This is our year! However, Phillip Rivers and the Chargers .........

  • weasleyes Aug 12, 2007

    GoPanthers: You are not stupid at all. In fact, I think you are smart! You pull for the Panthers, and that is proof enough for me. I was born in NC, and lived in the coastal area for the best 7 years of my life. I have seen "Charlie," the battleship alligator. They do slow down in winter, but I am not a herpetologist, and I am not sure why or how. I believe that they sink down in the mud, but I am not sure. Maybe some genius on this blog can enlighten both of us. I'm just a stupid, uneducated, electrical engineer.

  • anothermom Aug 12, 2007

    Does the wildlife commission hire someone special to write up these laws? What has happened to common sense when dealing with the safety of ourselves and our families.
    Yes, I do remember the "Jordan Lake Gator" and the charges and fine levied against the fishermen. A WRAL story of April 9, 2007 reports another gator capture in Johnston County with no mention of a warning or fine. I once took in an injured baby squirrel that my son brought home and nursed it back to health. Later someone told me what I did was against the law. I had no idea!! I'm not sure we're making criminals of the right people. What's that pledge we repeat?.......with liberty and justice for all. Justice is not making criminals of helpful neighbors.

  • gopanthers Aug 12, 2007

    Skepticghoul - I know their here and I know there are bears to. Bears go into hiding during Winter Months and I was just merely asking do Alligators do the same. N.C. gets Ice and Snow (sometimes) all over the state (coast included). I just didn't know what Alligators do in the winter and I was just asking. I'm not stupid. I'm just not an Reptile Expert! Sorry for asking. Didn't realize it would put a Thorn in someone's side.

  • jazzlvrnc Aug 12, 2007

    Sure not going to let my children (or me), go swimming in any of the ponds around here!

  • Skepticghoul Aug 11, 2007

    @ Go panthers: this is a warm climate.

    There are plenty in Bladen and Pender county and along all the coast of NC. BTW: Central NC also has bears.

  • ladyblue Aug 11, 2007

    I think they saw too many Steve Irwin shows. They are nothing to play with and they could of been hurt as well as sending the alligator into shock causing it to die. We'd be reading a different story if that gators mouth had whacked down on one of them, especially the little girl.

  • Cancerat34 Aug 11, 2007

    Didnt the news segment say they relocated it to another Harnett County pond???????????? Uhhhhh.. can we know where?? Why didn't they contact a zoo or Alligator Adventure down in Myrtle Beach?? That thing was pretty big!

  • amyj Aug 11, 2007

    Hmmm...I'm in Harnett county, there are 7 large ponds within 1/2 mile of my house (that I know of) and 3 of them are on my property. Did they move it to my ponds?? What town was that near?

  • Panther Aug 11, 2007

    Oh this is great, everyone in Harnett county is asking the same question, “Did that gator come from this pond/lake? Nothing like keeping people guessing! Tell them where it was found so parents can be proactive about letting their children swim there! Does not safety of children count for anything?