SURFSIDE, Texas - Beachgoers at Surfside in Brazoria County had quite the surprise when an alligator emerged from the water over the weekend.
Beachgoers say they saw the gator two days in a row swimming in the gulf. They captured video of it walking in the sand, then swimming into the waves.
The young adult alligator appeared to be between 5 and 6 feet long.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Alligator Program Leader Jonathan Warner says gators typically avoid saltwater; but if you are going to see one on the Gulf, now is the most likely time of year.
“A lot of younger alligators have dispersed from their winter habitats and are feeding and trying to bulk up, so in general this is a peak as far as alligator movement goes across the state,” said Warner.
When the Surfside gator reemerged from the waves the second time Saturday, another video shows vacationers capturing it. They then moved it off the beach and into a swampy area near the Brazos River.
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Warner says don’t do this. It’s actually against the law.
“It’s illegal to harass, capture or kill an alligator in the State of Texas without a special permit,” said Warner.
So what should you do if you see a gator?
“Best thing to do, obviously, first thing, enjoy it,” said Warner. “It’s a fairly rare occurrence, so it’s something special to see.”
He says, for the most part, alligators are very skittish, but if you do believe it is a nuisance or a danger, call Texas Parks and Wildlife.
“We have a nuisance control program and other means of dealing with this type of a situation,” said Warner.