Typical golf course hazards include streams, ponds, and bunkers, but if you live in the Southeast, then that list may very well include alligators, too.
The large reptiles are commonly found living near or even in golf courses across Florida and generally do not create much of a problem. Larger specimens, however, can be quite intimidating if they decide to come out and block hole 17. A Houston-based alligator trapping service had to be called out to capture a 12-foot animal after it was discovered sunning itself on a golf course in Richmond last week.
“Chubbs the gator removed from River Point Golf Club today,” wrote Gator Squad on Facebook. “His size attracted a few news cameras, but Chubbs is a neat gator, soaking up sun on Hole 17. Problem was he was sunbathing in the tee box daring anyone to make him move. We did.”
Gator Squad is operated by owner Chris Stephens and part-time alligator wrangler, full-time dental hygienist Christy Kroboth. Kroboth made headlines earlier this month for capturing another 12-foot alligator in a Sugar Land shopping mall’s parking lot. That gator weighed upwards of 800 pounds and was taken to a wildlife sanctuary in El Campo.
“We were able to put a rope on him and played a bit of a game of tug-of-war,” Kroboth told ABC News regarding the alligator in Richmond. “Once we settled him down, we were able to put him in a tractor.”
The trappers were surprised when they found out that the gator only had one eye. They decided to nickname the alligator “Chubbs” as a reference to the one-eyed alligator in the 1996 Adam Sandler comedy Happy Gilmore.
“He was challenging the golfers, and daring them to retrieve golf balls in the rough near him. Can’t be a naughty gator in our town without meeting Gator Squad. Neat animal, and his enormous size and good attitude after the catch will earn him a pass to the gator farm where he will be fed lots of natural foods, have plenty of chubby ladies, and lots of water and land to roam,” wrote Gator Squad.
The reptile may have been well-behaved, but Kroboth said the golfers were a different story.
“Golfers were extremely close to him even when we pulled up,” she said. “We had to yell at them and tell them to back off.”
The trapper said that the golfers were throwing balls at the animal, taking pictures, and generally being too close for comfort. These large predators may look slow and sedentary, but they can also be terrifyingly fast if provoked. Fortunately the trappers were able to remove it without incident. According to golf course managers, Chubbs is a familiar sight in the area, but has recently been more active and was a danger to guests.
Images from Facebook