It's not every day a nearly six-foot alligator turns up in Bryan, but it did, and some first time gator catchers have a reptile of a tale. Texas Parks and Wildlife says the men were lucky; the men say it was fun.
"He did the twist like you see them do on television and then we finally got on top of him and tied his mouth closed," Novice Reptile Wrangler Conrad Mayham said.
Conrad Mayham recalls this week's heroic task. The somewhat unusual escapade happened on Leonard Road in Bryan, but the small town, now big story didn't start here.
Bryan's own version of "Crocodile Dundee" or in this case "Alligator Dundee" started at Jerry's Food Mart. As soon as they heard an alligator was in their neck of the woods some fearless men went out to attack.
"A young boy came in and said there's a great big alligator down here on Leonard Road, so we had to come down to see what was happening," Mayham said.
That's when Conrad saw the five foot, four inch alligator.
"He was pretty well laying there; we had to tease him to open the mouth and get the rope in," Mayham said.
The task wasn't a one man job; others were called to pitch in.
"I really didn't believe him to start out with, but when I got there and seen him then I believed him," Paul Castoria said.
Castoria helped capture the gator, but doesn't consider himself a pro.
"I'm no Crocodile Dundee, just brave, that's all," Castoria said.
On a serious note, Texas Parks and Wildlife says the men were too brave.
"I strongly discourage it," Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Fred Churchill said. "A certified catcher should do the work."
Churchill says this gator catch may be in the limelight, but in recent months three alligators have been caught in Bryan-College Station.
"As it continues to grow and develop we're going to encroach on the natural wildlife habitat and there's going to be human contact with gators and the main thing to do is leave them alone," Churchill said.
But this wise advice did not keep these men away, and you can bet the stories of this gator catch will continue. As for the gator, don't worry, it's been relocated to safe location.
Texas Parks and Wildlife says shooting a gator is illegal unless done in season with proper permits. Also, permits are needed to house a gator.
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