August 23, 2011
Firefighter Captures Gator in...Rhode Island?
By Chad Love
Gator hunting is most often thought of as a southern pursuit, but these are interesting times we live in, where animals show up in unexpected places. Like say, an alligator showing up in...Rhode Island?
From this story on boston.com:
After weeks of unsubstantiated sightings, the rumors about an alligator living in a Providence, R.I. river proved true when a firefighter pulled one from the water this morning. "Head to tail, it was maybe 10 inches, certainly under 2 feet," said Deputy Assistant Chief Paul Thomas of the Providence Fire Department. Around 11:30 this morning, someone came to the fire station door to report spotting the alligator in the Woonasquatucket River nearby, said Thomas. "We looked and there he was, sunning himself on a rock," said Thomas.
Brian Sutton, one of the firefighters on duty, snuck up on the reptile and captured it. "He had a device to catch it with, but he sort of grabbed it with his hands," said Thomas. The capture took about 10 minutes, he said. The alligator has been dubbed the "Woonagator" for the river in which it was discovered. The capture can be viewed on YouTube if searched under "Woonagator." The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management took the 'gator and brought it to a local store, the Rhode Island House of Reptiles, according to Thomas. Thomas said he suspects that someone had it as a pet and when it got too big, its owner let it go.
Technically, I suppose this is the new Rhode Island state record gator, and while it may not be quite as impressive as say, Alabama's new state record gator who knows, maybe if we gave this little fella a little time to grow, supplied him some lady friends (or man friends, if it's a female) then maybe someday we'd all enjoy watching "Swamp People: Yankee Edition."