Alligators are frequent, almost welcome guests around the neighborhood. For the six years she’s lived there, Weaver said she’s never seen them act aggressively or attack, so she’s not sure why someone would stick a knife in this one’s skull.
“I feel that somebody did this on purpose.”
A Texas wildlife agency is expected to check out the gator next week, but until then, Weaver and her neighbors are acting as its advocates.
“I want to get help for this alligator. I don’t want to see an alligator swimming around with a knife in its head and suffering.”
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) June 14, 2019
Luckily for the gator, it’s one of the wild’s most resilient species. Alligator skin is covered in osteoderms, or bony plates similar to a turtle’s shell, that act as bodily armor, alligator researcher Frank Mazzotti told CNN.
Gator skulls are made of heavy, thick bone, too, so potential attackers have only a “very small target” to do serious damage. Otherwise, objects will get lodged in its skull rather than its brain, maiming but not killing the creature.
In most cases of injury, gators bounce back. The reptile’s blood contains antibiotic properties, which speed up the healing process and render substantial damage as mere flesh wounds.
Texas woman snaps picture of alligator swimming with a knife sticking in its head. SE-001FR pic.twitter.com/rQSmeapp22
— CNN Newsource (@CNNNewsource) June 14, 2019
In other words, don’t mess with a gator.
Mazzotti said he couldn’t determine the extent of the damage for this particular gator. The length of the blade and its placement were difficult to decipher based on the photo.
‘An Uninvited Guest’
An alligator measuring 8 feet 10 inches long was resting in a Florida family’s swimming pool in Palm Beach Gardens in April.
Mother Senta Evans was in the middle of her usual morning routine of releasing her dogs to the backyard when she froze. She saw a giant gator weighing about 300 pounds at the bottom of her pool.
MASSIVE GATOR ????: One Florida family had an interesting start to the week after they found a 9-foot alligator in their swimming pool. https://t.co/rRYn4UBbFj
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) April 8, 2019
— WPTV (@WPTV) April 8, 2019
Evans contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which helped organize a wildlife handler who was close to the PGA National area.
FWC released a statement on social media, urging people not to feed gators in the wild.
“Living with alligators safety tip: never feed an alligator and keep your distance if you see one,” FWC wrote in a Twitter post dated April 6.
“Swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours and keep pets on a leash and away from the water,” FWC added on its website.
— MyFWC (@MyFWC) April 5, 2019
The family had only just used the pool a day earlier and were not sure how the gator entered the property. The handler speculated the reptile could have crawled under the chain link fence in the backyard.
After just 20 minutes of pulling, the handler removed the gator from the pool and a neighbor helped the professional lift the gator onto the back of his pickup truck.
— 10News WTSP (@10NewsWTSP) April 9, 2019
The family said the gator would be relocated to a farm in the Lake Placid area, 93 miles northwest of their home.
Epoch Times reporter Richard Szabo contributed to this article.