Customers doing a bit of weekend shopping at the First Colony Commons Shopping Center in Sugar Land, Texas got a massive shock on Saturday morning. Officials say that a 12-foot, 800-pound alligator was plodding its way across the shopping center’s parking lot, heading straight for a hair salon before employees saw it.
“He was caught this morning in our back parking lot, I think he was trying to get in for a hair appointment,” wrote an employee of the Funky Hue Hair Studio on Facebook.
Police arrived to cordon off the area and Christy Kroboth, a dental hygienist, was called to tackle the massive reptile. Kroboth is a licensed alligator trapper, but said that she always gets second looks when she shows up to remove an animal.
“A lot of times when I show up on a call it’s cops and mostly guys. And they’re like, ‘Texas Parks and Wildlife sent you?’ They kind of doubt me at first until I really get them taped and ready to go,” Kroboth told KTRK.
Subduing an animal several times your own weight is no easy task. At one point while trying to capture the alligator, it knocked Kroboth straight to the ground.
“We tried several different attempts on how to catch him. Finally we thought we had him wore out enough to put two people on the back of him and kinda outweigh him which clearly did not work,” she told KPRC.
You can see video of the attempt below:
Kroboth and local officers were eventually able to hogtie the reptile, but it was too heavy for them to move. The trapper had to borrow a forklift from a nearby Home Depot to load the alligator onto her pickup. During all the excitement, Kroboth said that animal took every opportunity to smack its handlers with its massive tail. “I try to be sweet to these guys,” Kroboth said. “He wasn’t too sweet to me but I’ll forgive him for that.” The alligator has been sent to an alligator sanctuary in El Campo and is believed to be around 50 years old. It is not known where the animal had come from, although officers suspect it lived in a nearby creek before it wandered onto the parking lot.
Images from Facebook