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Two Alligators Spotted Near Popular Katy Park Where Kids Play


March 18, 2022

By Natalie Cook Clark

A Katy resident spotted two alligators near Exploration Park this week. The biggest was estimated at 12 feet long. Katy shares space with many wild animals that are all best left alone if encountered.

Photo credit: Walter Colton

Two alligators were spotted Wednesday on a walking trail near Exploration Park. Katy is home to many wild animals that are best left alone if encountered.

Resident Thought He Would See Something

I was walking the trail next to Exploration Park near south Mason Rd. Due to the nice weather I expected to see alligators and snakes, so I was on the lookout,” says Katy resident Walter Colton.

Colton was in luck. He saw two alligators on the trail near the popular local park. “The first alligator I saw was about 7 feet,” says Colton. “The second alligator was only a few feet from the edge of the walking/bike trail and was at least 12 feet long.”

Photo credit: Walter Colton

Alligators are frequently seen in the Katy area near lakes, ponds, and neighborhood water areas and ditches. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD), "Most Texans in 'gator country' will live in close proximity to these native reptiles with no confrontations."

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. Yet, Katy families need to be careful.

Safe Practices for Katy Families

The best preventative practice is to maintain constant supervision of children when they play near any bodies of water like bayous. Teach children to be aware of their surroundings and to back away if they encounter a gator.

  • Do not let children play around lakes, ponds, or swamps unsupervised.

  • Let children know where gators could be, and to stay alert in these areas.

  • Warn children about the dangers of gators and what to do if they encounter one: leave the alligator alone, maintain a distance of approximately 30+ feet, and leave the area.

  • Remind children to stay away from the edges of lakes, ponds, or swamps.

  • Advise children not to go after balls or toys that landed in a lake, pond, or swamp.

  • Keep pets enclosed or on a leash in areas where there are gators.

  • Be aware of fishing lines or hooks that can attract gators due to their similarities to natural food.

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

“I was shocked to see such a large alligator in an area where I have seen kids fishing at the water’s edge,” says Colton. “Please be aware of your surroundings in this area.”


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