Wednesday, April 16, 2008

American Alligator with Plastic Bag in her Throat

I am so frustrated! This is what happens when we, as humans, litter. This poor American Alligator, who I'm pretty sure is pregnant has a plastic bag caught in her throat. I think she's pregnant because I've been watching her build a nest at the edge of my bank under some brush.

She's been laying at the bottom of my bank since this afternoon with that bag in her throat. At first I thought it was just next to her until she moved and it moved with her. Once I got a better look, I could tell it was half swallowed. I called the animal rescue people, and they told me that since it was getting dark, if she was still alive, they'd come out in the morning. It's so sad. It's now 11:30 pm and I just checked on her. She's still resting there in the same spot. When I talk to her she comes up on the bank a little closer to me, but there's no way I'm going to try to pull it out.

We all need to be more mindful of what we're doing to the environment when we carelessly throw our trash on the ground. Littering hurts. If it was in your pocket when it was full, what's the harm with carrying it back out the same way you brought it in and disposing of your litter in a proper receptacle. Pay attention to what we're doing to our wildlife and our environment, please!

I spent the day today with the Animal Rescue team trying to lure her in so they could catch her. She's not afraid of me because she knows me and knows I won't hurt her. When I talk to her she comes closer, but as soon as she sees the rescue guy, she takes off back into the water and doesn't surface very soon. At least I know she's still alive. The rescue team said he'll keep coming back to check on her and hopefully he'll be able to catch her. Unfortunately, he thinks the only time he'll be able to get her is when she's half-dead and too weak to escape.

It's so sad. I was thinking of contacting the paper and giving them the story as an environmental issue. I'll see if they're interested in running it.

UPDATE 5/10/08:
I haven't seen her since the animal rescue guy said he'd keep trying to catch her. I'm thinking he must've got her because she hasn't turned up belly up and I've seen no vultures around. Alligators are creatures of habit, so I know she's not here. I could set my watch by her coming to my bank everyday at 3:00 pm for her sun and snooze. I miss seeing her, but I'm happy that I'm nearly convinced that she isn't dead. He must've saved her.

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