Let me out! Determined gator tries to reach woods by climbing over fence
Imagine walking between buildings at work and spotting a large alligator trying to clear a chain-link fence.
That's what happened to one Manatee County employee this week.
Chris Hughes had just begun his shift at Manatee County's wastewater treatment facility when he saw a gator trying to make its way to some woods by going over a 6-foot-high fence topped by barbed wire.
"She started climbing, and I already the phone out and snapped three pictures," Hughes said.
Hughes says the gator got close to the barbed wire at the top of the fence and then backed down to the ground.
You can't blame a gator for trying, though, right?
"Wish I would have turned on the video instead," Hughes said.
This wasn't the first time a big gator has had its picture taken at the Lena Road facility. Last year, someone took a video of a big gator ambling across a roadway.
"We sometimes have to walk around them and let them go about their business," Hughes said.
An alligator walking isn't uncommon, but what about climbing?
Damen Hurd of Bradenton's Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center Inc. says that gators, like most reptiles, have claws and a strong grip.
"The photo (shows) probably one of the larger alligators I've seen climbing a fence in a while, but they're definitely capable of it," Hurd said.
Employees at the wastewater treatment plant say they believe the photographed gator is a frequent visitor to two ponds on the campus property.
Hurd says there are several reasons why gators climb.
Those include looking for food, mates or territory.
He says gators are very persistent.