Gator sightings growing in South Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gator sightings growing in South Georgia

July 25, 2004

Albany -- It's not uncommon to spot alligators in the rivers and lakes here in South Georgia, but a gator surprised neighbors when it somehow found its way into a small Albany pond.

If you take a quick look at the pond on the corner of Third Avenue and Dawson in Albany, you'll see no gators, but that does not mean one isn't there.

Two weeks ago DNR crews tried to rope a 4 and 1/2 foot alligator spotted in a pond which belongs to Central Baptist Church.

"From time to time we usually have an alligator to come out of there. They are a part of our visitation program," jokes Pastor Edd Spurlock.

Spurlock says alligators pop up at least twice a year in the pond. He says last year DNR fished out two large gators.

The site of something green and on all fours in South Georgia ponds is not uncommon as the gator population swells. Earlier this month, a 3 and 1/2 foot gator took a gold fish pond in Albany hostage.

Although experts say it unlikely the animals will  attack humans, church member aren't taking any chances. "They are fun to look at but I don't want to be around one," says church member Betty Ross.

Church members even joke the gators followed their pastor to Albany. " Since I'm from Louisiana some of them have claimed that it's some of my heritage showing up," says Pastor Spurlock.

But one thing is for certain, gators are here and they're here to stay. DNR officials say the gator likely swam through drainage pipes to make its way to the pond.

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