Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

November 2, 2013

Road Hazard

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:22 am

A 12-foot-long alligator caused more than a bump in the road for a Splendora family Thursday night, Oct. 30.

Michael Groh, his wife, Robin, and their son, C.J., were traveling southbound on US 59 between Cleveland and Splendora when they ran over the alligator near the San Jacinto River bridge.

“We couldn’t miss it,” said Groh. “He was all the way across the lane.”

Groh said that the impact with the enormous reptile caused the Toyota Tundra truck he was driving to rock back and forth until the vehicle finally righted itself.

“We were going about 65 miles per hour,” he said. “When I hit him, the head part gave way but his body didn’t. The truck felt like it came up off the ground.”

Though he was not happy to have accidently killed the beast, Groh felt some relief that it was his vehicle that hit it instead of the smaller Honda Civic that was traveling behind him.

“A lady behind me was in a small car. I don’t know what it would have done to her or her vehicle had she been the one to hit it,” said Groh, adding that his vehicle had not been damaged.

Alligators and other animals are on the move right now because of recent rains and the approaching winter season, according to Texas Game Warden Aryn Corley.

“This time of year many animals are looking for places to spend the winter, but the rain has them moving about, too,” he said. “It is likely a confluence on those two things.”

Corley said that people should not be overly concerned if they spot an alligator in natural areas.

“Their natural tendency is to be afraid of people,” he said.

A nuisance alligator that is too close to a home, school, church or business is another matter. These reptiles should only be approached and handled by trained wildlife experts.

If a person finds a nuisance alligator, call the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) dispatch center at 281-842-8100. For questions and concerns about orphaned or injured wildlife, a list of wildlife rehabilitators can be found on the TPWD website, www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

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