Over 300 gators may escape from enclosure as hurricane flood waters approach fence height

Alex Lasker

Rogue alligators have been cropping up in backyards and driveways around Texas due to the rising flood waters brought by Hurricane Harvey.

But a greater gator problem may soon face the city of Beaumont if water levels continue to rise.

A popular alligator theme park says that flood waters are dangerously close to exceeding the height of fences that are keeping hundreds of the reptiles inside their enclosures.

Gary Saurage, the owner of Gator Country, told KFDM that water levels inside their facilities have nearly reached a critical level.

"We're less than a foot (of water) from going over the fences," Saurage told the station. "All of these are certified, high fences, but when it won't quit, it won't quit. We've worked around the clock and I don't know what else to do. We're truly tired. Everybody's at the end of it, man. We don't know what to do."

Though Saurage says that his largest alligators, Big Al and Big Tex, have been safely placed in trailers, he warns that the gators kept inside other enclosures will escape over the top of their fences if flood waters rise high enough.

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John Warren, one of the heads of the Texas Parks and Wildlife alligator program, told the Houston Chronicle that even though the situation at Gator Country may seem alarming, there's really not too much for citizens to worry about.

"There has been extensive damage to their buildings but there is not a threat to human life," Warren said Tuesday. "We understand it's a legitimate worry. If some escape it's still a drop in the bucket compared to the wild population over here."

Unfortunately, alligators are not the only creatures lurking in Harvey's dangerous flood waters.

On Monday, a massive colony of fire ants was spotted floating through flood waters in Houston following the devastating rain that slammed the city over the weekend.

If you would like to donate to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, click here to see a list of charities providing aid to victims.

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