Busy Jewella Avenue isn't the place where you think you'd find an alligator. However, if on Thursday you looked in the ditch running under the avenue near Hardy Street, you would've got a big surprise.
"I'm a little surprised it got as far as it did," Cross Lake Patrol Officer Brian Michael said. He helped capture an 8 foot American Alligator that somehow found it's way from Cross Lake and into the city. Michael says alligators are known to populate the lake.
"They're extremely common," he said. "I see them very often out here.in the bayou, the west end of the lake where the trees are."
He says human contact with the reptiles should be expected around the lake. In fact, his station gets a number of calls about them.
"Sometimes people, for whatever reason, are surprised that they'll be an alligator on their back lawn, pier or deck," Michael said. "We just leave those alone."
He says recent high waters could be what caused the gator to venture away.
"The lake was down several feet and then it came up quickly," Michael said. "It's a very good possibility that that is contributing to the fact that some of these alligators are finding themselves out of the lake."
He says the warm months also bring the alligators out, but you should still have trouble finding one.
"You're generally never going to see an alligator," Michael said. "They don't go out on the open part of the lake, mainly back in the bayous and the wooded areas and generally at night."
If a gator does cross your path, Michael says don't go near or feed it and call 9-1-1.