CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An alligator that washed up on Malaquite Beach earlier this week is listed in critical condition and is being treated by the Texas Sealife Center.
The Texas Sealife Center said it is not common to see them near the ocean because they are a freshwater species. Officials said it came from Louisiana and know because it was tagged. They suspect the recent rain in Texas and Louisiana could have washed it over to Malaquite Beach.
Kelly Taylor, the public information officer for Padre Island National Seashore, said the alligator fits into a medium-sized dog crate and had fishing line in its mouth when it was found. She said staff and spectators kept a safe distance when they were around the gator.
She said alligators can be dangerous if they feel threatened and that it could have been provoked to attack because of its condition.
“It had been in the gulf for quite some time we suspect, judging from the amount of algae on its back," Taylor said. "It was probably tired and hungry, but you can kind of think about how you would feel if you were treated in that type of situation and they’re always going to be on the defense."
The Paladino family visited North Padre Island and said they have actually eaten alligator in San Antonio. They also learned about alligators when they visited the San Antonio Zoo.
However, family members had a different view on what they would do if they encountered a live one at the beach.
“I’d find something long and sharp, give it a good jab on the nose and I’d guide it out a bit,” Jack Paladino said.
Jack’s father, Carmine Paladino, said he would do something different, saying, “Well maybe that’s what he would do. I would call the authorities.”
Another visitor, Malayna Laffoof, said she would also call authorities.
“Well, first of all I would go to the beach and run away from it but then I would call somebody or contact somebody to take care of it without harming it so that way it could go back and not harm anybody else and stay safe,” she said.
The Texas Sealife Center said you should call the authorities like Texas Parks and Wildlife and not get too close to it.
They said the alligator is currently being treated for electrolyte abnormalities for being in salt water for too long. They are also giving the alligator antibiotics and fluids.
The alligator has also had radiographs and blood work done.