Harvey: More than 350 alligators could escape facility as floodwaters near breaching fences

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The Gator Country crew with a big gator captured at a Southeast Texas refinery.

Gator Country, located between Beaumont and Winnie, TX is facing a serious situation.

As of Monday a.m. water was near breaching their fences in a park that houses more than 350 alligators.

“We’re less than a foot a foot from (water) going over the fences,” Saurage said in a report for KFDM.

“All of these are certified, high fences, but when it won’t quit, it won’t quit. We’ve worked around the clock and I don’t know what else to do. We’re truly tired. Everybody’s at the end of it, man. We don’t know what to do.

Saurage noted that “Big Al” and “Big Tex” the two largest alligators on the property as well as non indigenous crocodilians and snakes are in a safe location and will not escape.

The Gator Country crew with a big gator captured at a Southeast Texas refinery.

The Gator Country crew has long worked to raise awareness to the American alligator and has conducted hundreds of rescues of alligators in the Southeast Texas region under the nuisance alligator control program. Unlike most control officers who are legally allowed to kill and sell their alligators for the meat and hide, Saurage and his crew bring them back alive to the facility to live out their lives and for the public to enjoy.

One of those gators was the aforementioned “Big Tex”, a state record alligator captured last fall on the Trinity River at Champion Lake.

“This is what I have been working toward my entire career,” Saurage said after catching the monster gator in 2016.

Alligators are part of the natural order and are key to healthy wetlands.

“It can be really easy for the public to get a negative opinion of alligators because if you don’t understand them they look scary and sometimes get a bad rap. That is one reason I remain so passionate about the work we are doing with Gator Country and our Gator Rescue. We get to reach so many people with a true look at these amazing creatures,” Saurage said in a 2014 interview with TFG.

Gator Country has always allowed TFG access to photograph alligators and get a behind the scenes look at alligator rescue. We hope the best for their facility and will post any information upcoming on how the public can help them get back on their feet once Harvey’s waters recede.

To read the full KFDM click here.

TF&G Staff

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