Why Port Aransas may have to relocate their beloved alligators

Posted at 5:43 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 14:54:17-04

The city of Port Aransas is asking people to stop feeding the alligators in the area. If the illegal animals feeding doesn’t stop, the city could lose their beloved gators.

Most days the gators in Port Aransans can be found at Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, where there’s signage asking people not to feed the wildlife.

But, leftover bones show there’s still people illegally feeding these animals.

Old video sent to us by a viewer shows several officers wrestling to contain a gator in Port Aransas back in October 2018.

Gators still lounge at the birding center on the island today, but the days of 'gator gazing' could soon be over if people don’t stop feeding them human food.

“There are some people bringing raw chicken and other food items for the alligators to eat,” said Nature Preserve Manager Rae Mooney.

Not only is it unhealthy for the alligators but she says feeding them could lead to a scary encounter or even an attack.

“We don’t want the alligators to start walking out expecting something from people,” said Mooney.

“At the birding center you’re far enough away from the alligators where maybe it wouldn’t be so much an issue, but they do venture out. A couple weeks ago, they were out at some drainage ditches in Port Aransas and you can be pretty close to them there.”

If they start to become a nuisance for the city, Mooney says animal control will have to find a permitted company to relocate the alligators to another natural area or sanctuary.

Also, feeding them is against a Port Aransas city ordinance and state law, therefore game wardens and local law enforcement can give you a citation if you’re caught illegally feeding any of the protected wildlife.

“They’re happy and well fed by nature so just come out and enjoy them,” said Mooney.