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Katy Wildlife Lessons from a Strolling Alligator

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

September 14, 2022

By Natalie Cook Clark


Katy residents share their neighborhoods with many wild critters. An alligator was caught this week taking a stroll in Cinco Ranch. The visitor served as a good reminder of how we live among such wildlife. As Katy continues to grow, more residents will come face to face with local animals.


Photo credit: Constable Chad Norvell


11-Foot Alligator visits Cinco Ranch

An 11-foot alligator walking along Peek Road in Cinco Ranch made headlines this week. That alligator was safely relocated, but a reminder at how often Katy residents encounter local wildlife.


“Alligators are very common,” says Fort Bend County Constable Precinct 1 Chad Norvell. “As we’ve said before, they’re native to the area and should be left alone.”


Authorities believe that this alligator came from Buffalo Bayou and residents say they have seen it over there for over 20 years. The visit wasn’t a surprise. Katy residents live among wildlife. As construction continues to expand Katy encounters with local wildlife will continue.


Video courtesy of Constable Chad Norvell


What To Do If You See A Gator

A local wildlife encounter can be exciting and alarming, authorities stress the importance of leaving them alone.


“Feeding them is illegal,” says Constable Norvell. “Alligators do not see humans as a good source until someone starts feeding them. Generally, leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone.”


There is no record of an alligator attack in Fort Bend County, but alligators are around.


"Most Texans in 'gator country' will live in close proximity to these native reptiles with no confrontations," according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.


Residents should take care when walking dogs near creeks and lakes as they could be seen as pray.


The TPWD says if the alligator is not bothering people or posing an obvious threat, wait a few days if possible - even up to a week - before contacting them. In spring and summer, alligators are moving to breed and find a new habitat.


If the gator is a nuisance, such as seen to be approaching people or is an obvious threat, the TPWD advises to call the law enforcement communications center at (713) 779-8977.


Coyotes, Bobcats Responsible for Pet Deaths

Other wild animals have been linked to the deaths of small pets. Recently a pack of coyotes killed a Katy family’s beloved French Bulldog after they took it from their yard. This is not the first-time coyotes have been responsible for killing small pets. Local bobcats have also been known to kill.


A coyote was recently caught on camera in Pecan Grove. See how easily it can get over fences.


Video courtesy of Elise Renee.


“They don’t have anywhere to go,” says Debbie Conaway, whose dog was killed by coyotes. “They don’t have a home. I think they are living in that dirt pit trying to make the most of things.”


As the weather begins to cool more people will be outside increasing the chances of snake encounters.


Snakes


The greater Houston area has 34 different kinds of snakes. Of that number, about 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, leave it alone unless it seems to pose an immediate threat. In that case call Animal Control.


“The best way to ward off unwanted animals is to control what they eat,” says Chris Williams with Urban Jungle Wildlife Removal. “To avoid snakes, spray for bugs to ward off lizards, control rat and rodent population. Everyone has them but if you control the food source you’ll avoid those types of predators.”


Katy is home to several venomous and non-venomous snakes that residents should be familiar with. Know your Katy snakes.



Larger wildlife such as deer and hogs pose a different threat than snakes and gators. Larger animals pose a problem on the roads. Dead wildlife can often be found on the Grand Parkway and other major roads. Residents need to be cautious when driving.


Stay Safe

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.


Photo credit: Constable Chad Norvell.


As far as this week’s alligator visit, it was safely caught and relocated to Gator Country near Beaumont.


In most cases, wildlife are more afraid of us than we are them. Take caution and if you need assistance call your local animal control or a professional.


Harris County 281-999-3191

Fort Bend County 281-342-1512

Waller County 979-826-8033



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