Did the gator found in a family pool in Florida really have to be killed? Even 37-year-old Laura Lear, the owner of the Lakeland family pool, admits that even though the alligator was on her property, the animals were there before homebuyers grabbed up their land. “We are in gator-land,” Lear said. “I mean we are on their turf.”
The gator in Laura Lear’s pool quite clearly enjoyed chilling in the clear water of the family’s backyard swimming pool, and as the video taken by Laura shows, the alligator did not want to leave his newly discovered habitat. As reported by the Palm Beach Post on March 3, it took 13-year veteran trapper Scott Barbon, who had been sent by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation and who works barefoot, an hour to bring the gator up with a lasso.
“He used a lasso effect, wrapped him up and it was pretty scary. At one point, waves were rocking in the pool from the gator thrashing around, but then the trapper tired him out and hauled him out the door,” Laura Lear told Bay News 9.
Many people might assume that the trapper returned the resistant gator back to where he came from — a pond about 70 yards away from the Lear’s home. However, instead of returning the gator to his home, the animal was euthanized:
“The alligator was ultimately euthanized and processed for its meat and hide, Barbon said, adding that Florida is home to millions of gators.”
When Craig Lear came home from his work around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, he didn’t expect to find one of those alligators chilling in his black bottom pool. It was only when he let the cats out in their screened-in pool area that he noticed bubbles coming up from the deep end of the pool. After realizing that the bubbles did not come from a golf ball coming from the nearby golf course but a 300-pound alligator, 38-year-old Craig Lear first made sure his cats and son were safe and then called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation.
According to Craig Lear, his pool apparently provided the prefect habitat for the alligator since the animal just seemed to blend in to the environment. The gator lay low in the pool until trapper Barbon tried to remove him.
In response to the gator in the pool news, many are outraged that the alligator had to be killed instead of being relocated:
“Poor gator. Killed for taking a swim. They should just take them out to the Everglades and let them loose.”
“About 5 min ago I bookmarked a restaurant that serves grilled gator. Then I read this story. Now I’m sad.”
“Since I was born in Miami Florida and lived and worked there for most of my life, I know about gators. As construction built up more and more taking away their place to live, they have come into contact with more of the public. It’s not the gators fault at all.”
“I wish I hadn’t read the story now. I can’t believe they had to kill him. Why couldn’t they relocate him? Florida. That explains it all.”
According to one ABC News commentator, there is a law that requires that “any gator over 4′ that poses a threat to humans, pets, or property can be deemed a nuisance alligator,” and can be destroyed. However, was the gator found in the Lear family pool really a nuisance?