Friday, September 10, 2010

Women Love Me, Wild Gators Fear Me

It has been an eventful week with the puppy rescued from the jaws of the gator on Labor Day weekend, my birthday, and a hurricane making landfall in Texas.

Also found out that a couple of local guys made it onto National Geographic Swamp Men.

These are archive photos from 5 years ago, but happy to say, just turned 55 and still wrestling alligators!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Wild Labor Day Weekend

As owner and operator of de la Houssaye's Swamp Tours at Lake Martin, I am constantly warning people walking around with dogs running free to be careful of the alligators.

I did a sunrise tour on Sunday morning with a couple from Portland, Oregon

I had just finished my tour, my guests had pulled out of the boat landing, and I was telling a lady standing in the landing that she needed to be careful of her Yorkie around the gators.

As I was speaking of how we had 5 dogs we knew of last year that were eaten by gators in the boat landing, I look over and there is a 8-10 footer, zeroed in on my puppy.

At a distance of about 3 foot I knew the gator was about to stike and instinctively I began to lunge in that direction. About halfway there, the gator struck and then a second later, I was on top of him. At that point he was more worried about me on him, than eating the puppy and let it go.

In the heat of the moment, I did not think, I acted, and had I not seen the gator, and moved when I did, there would have been nothing I could have done to save the puppy, because once a gator has someting in its jaws rarely does its prey survive.

I this case, in spite of having a good bite on the pups hind-end, I scared the gator enough, to cause him to lose hold, and do a 180 to get away from me and head back into the water, and I was then able to scoop the pup up and bring it to the boat trailer and make these photos.

This alligator was very bold in that it approached this puppy with about 5 people standing around talking, fortunately, I was only about 10 foot away from the incident when the gator struck. Typically, alligators are very shy around people because we eat them, they do not eat us, and we are their only natural enemy so they have nothing to fear except man.

The real root of the problem here is an over-zealous swamp tour guide has been feeding the alligators at Lake Martin now for about 10 years. And I will quote him here: "I fed every alligator, all the way around the lake."

Unfortunately, a fed gator is only relocated to the processing plant after it has been killed.