Gator Country, an alligator and reptile rescue and educational facility in Beaumont, Texas, is in danger of 350 alligators escaping over its exterior fence because of rising floodwaters.
Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey and the resultant storms have the water level less than a foot from cresting an exterior fence of the facility.
Gator Country owner Gary Saurage told KFDM/FOX 4 that could mean those alligators could eventually swim over the fence and into the wild:
"Sure they could [escape]," Saurage told KFDM/FOX 4. "The good news is we caught all of our crocodiles and all of our venomous snakes—everything that is not from here we put up and in a safe place. [But] we live with alligators. It is what it is."
Two of his largest alligators — Big Al and Big Tex — are safely put away in trailers, Saurage added. There are also apparently many more alligators housed in an inside area of the facility.
"We're less than a foot from going over the fences," Saurage told KFDM/FOX 4. "I mean all these are certified high fences. But look, when it won't quit [raining], it won't quit. We've worked around the clock. I don't know what else to do. We're truly tired. Everybody is at the end of it. We don't know what to do.
"I've never seen [the water] stay anywhere near this before. The staying power of this storm is just unbelievable."
The gift shop at Gator Country, a huge replica of an alligator, already has 1-1/2 feet of water and there is much more rain in the forecast, making the possibility of escaping alligators a reality.
Some wild alligators have already been displaced into some neighborhoods, as witnessed by Arlene Gonzalez Kelsch's Facebook video showing two in her backyard, as reported by the Daily Mail:
The rising floodwaters have also reportedly impacted a bat colony that lives under the Waugh Street bridge, and fire ants have been seen forming a protective island by clinging to each other atop the floodwaters.
— Omar Villafranca (@OmarVillafranca) August 27, 2017
With more rain and flooding to come, no doubt more impacts on wildlife will surface.
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