Thursday, August 18, 2005

Latest on Gator


8:42 p.m. August 18, 2005

LOS ANGELES – See you later alligator – hunter.

Alligator wrangler Jay Young took a break Thursday and headed back to his native Colorado after several unsuccessful attempts to catch the mysterious gator discovered in a local lake Aug. 12
Los Angeles officials who contracted Young said they were giving the animal a breather in hopes that a more relaxed gator would be easier to catch. They said Young will take at least a week off before he starts stalking the reptile again.
"The gator is stressed, and we don't want him scared or sick," Young said.
"We're going to get him back to kind of relaxing and laying on the lilly pads and having a good time again, so we're doing therapy for the gator," Ron Berkowitz, Los Angeles Recreation and Parks superintendent for the Harbor Area, told KABC-TV.
Meanwhile crowds continued to gather at the lake in South Los Angeles, and vendors began selling T-shirts with alligator logos.
"That gator is now everybody's pet in Los Angeles," said Jason Anderson, among those waiting for a sighting on the shore of Harbor City's Lake Machado Thursday.
"They should let the gator stay over there and live free," suggested Stan Ruzicka, also hoping for a glimpse of the reptile.
Visitors have lobbed a variety of tempting treats at the gator, including tortillas, french bread and jelly doughnuts and dangled raw chicken into the water to bait the creature, all to no avail.
As the crowds continue to build, rangers are patrolling the area 24 hours a day.
Young offered to forgo payment if he couldn't catch the gator, but parks General Manager Kirk Mukri said the city still plans to pay up.
On Wednesday, the animal avoided capture by chewing up a modified fishing net. Young, an $800-a-day specialist, arrived on Tuesday to help local authorities after they failed to nab the animal for nearly a week.
Officials originally believed the animal was a close alligator relative called a caiman, but Young saw it up close and determined it is an alligator, said Jane Kolb, spokeswoman for the city Department of Recreation and Parks.
No one knows how the animal – who's been nicknamed "Carlito" and "Harbor Park Harry" – got in the lake located not far from a freeway and surrounded by oil refineries and offices.
"We're assuming that somebody had a pet that got too big and they dumped it," Kolb said.
Once the animal is captured, it will be taken to the Los Angeles Zoo and held for 90 days.

Just any old alligator

The alligator depicted is just a picture of an alligator not the Harbor City Machado Lake alligator.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Gator in Lake in Harbor City, Los Angeles, Ca.

Alligator in Lake, Harbor City, Los Angeles

I am fascinated by the fact that there is what appears to be a full grown or almost full grown alligator living pleasantly in a park lake for wildlife located across the street from Kaiser Hospital and Medical Center in Harbor City, Los Angeles. One can see the lake from inside and on the grounds of the Kaiser complex. I have been on the grounds of this lake several times and have always enjoyed the natural wonder of this lake and the lush environs. It is a beautiful place only somewhat scenically affected by the fact there is a large oil company perhaps, a refinery, sitting next store to the park grounds but for some strange reason this does not seem to take away from the beauty of the park location as the oil company is some distance away from one's line of vision. The alligator has appeared with just its head out of the water and was first mistaken for a Caiman, a kind of crocodile I gather. There are also photos of it floating where you can almost see the creature full length as the body is partially visible. Crowds have gathered at the shore and have been kept back, although not in time to keep somebody from throwing tortillas into the water which the alligator seems to enjoy eating at night. An alligator hunter and wrestler has been hired to catch the animal alive and take him to the LA Zoo where it will be quarantined for 60 days and then sent most likely to some alligator habitat but that all remains to be seen. I have placed one photo taken from ABC News on the blog. I will try to find more and fill in more details as the story unfolds.