KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
May 10, 2019
By Natalie Cook Clark
Heavy storms overnight are already forcing critters to explore new territories. The Katy Police Department Humane Division responded to an alligator off of Highway 90 this morning. Strong storms can sometimes bring wildlife closer to Katy residents. It's important to know about the risks and what to do to keep your family safe.
Katy Police Department's Humane Division respond to a gator in Old Katy.
The Katy Police Department's Humane Division responded to an alligator sighting at the 27700 block of Highway 90 about two miles from Katy High School. The gator was released to the Texas Parks and Wildlife for relocation.
Residents can expect to spot more critters as the rains continue among all of Katy's counties.
"We always see wildlife move around when water rises," says Major Chad Norvell with Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office. "Just give them space as they move around to survive."
Wildlife commonly forced out during and after storms include but are not limited to: snakes, alligators, rodents, deer, hogs and lost family pets.
Texas Gator Control remove a 9+ foot gator at S. Fry and Westgreen. Photo credit: Texas Gator Control.
There have been many sightings of Katy gators in bayous and ponds over the years, but no reports of attacks.
"Most Texans in 'gator country' will live in close proximity to these native reptiles with no confrontations," according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD).
The TPWD says alligators have a natural fear of humans and will usually retreat upon seeing them and says it's uncommon for gators to approach humans.
Texas Gator Control, a Katy-based organization certified by the state to capture and remove nuisance and problem alligators from people's property, removed a 9+ foot alligator from South Fry Road and Westgreen yesterday.
If you encounter an alligator that needs to be removed call Texas Gator Control at 832-492-5773.
Click slideshow to learn more about these dangerous Katy snakes.
A common animal encounter for Katy families during and after heavy storms are snakes. The greater Houston area has around 34 kinds of snakes. Of that number, around four are venomous and considered aggressive. However, any animal bite can result in serious infection and injury even without venom. If you see a snake it's always best to leave it alone unless it seems to pose an immediate threat. In that case call Animal Control.
Snake encounters in Katy are common especially as temperatures rise and families spend more time outdoors in the summer months. It's wise to know the local venomous snakes so added caution can be taken.
Wildlife on the Roads
Larger wildlife such as deer and hogs pose a different threat than snakes and gators. These reptiles are more likely to strike larger animals which can cause problems on the roads.
"Drivers should me mindful of this when driving by wooded areas during periods of flood," says Norvell. When flooding is an issue though it's best to avoid getting out on the roads.
Lost and Found Pets During Storms
Like local wildlife, family pets are afraid of bad weather. Next to holidays such as the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve (events with a presence of fireworks) more pets go missing during severe weather. They get scared and if given the opportunity, can run off as a result of that fear.
If you find a lost family pet, first look for identification tags to see if you can call its owner. If there are no tags, take the animal to a local vet who can scan it for a microchip. Don't forget that social media platforms such as Facebook and the Nextdoor App are great resources to share information regarding lost and found pets.
Keep Your Pets Safe
Don't let you dog or cat be one of those scared family pets that gets lost during bad weather.
Always keep pets indoors during severe weather.
Make sure your pets have current identification on them and are microchipped.
The best practice when encountering local wildlife, especially if they are stressed from inclement weather is to leave them alone. It's also important to educate and teach children how to stay safe around wildlife.
Always supervise children when they are playing outside.
Do not let children play in flooded rainwater. This water is dirty and dangers such as snakes, gators, and bugs can be hiding in it.
Teach children about dangerous wildlife and tell them to always notify an adult when they spot a creature that could be harmful.
Do not touch a wild animal.
In most cases, displaced wildlife are more afraid of us than we are them. Take caution and if you need assistance call your local animal control.
Harris County 281-999-3191
Fort Bend County 281-342-1512
Waller County 979-826-8033