DEL VALLE, Texas — Alligators in a Del Valle neighborhood are set to be removed in the coming months after a neighbor in the area said she witnessed alligators attacking a dog.
According to a spokesperson from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the department has now deemed the animal or animals' removal as appropriate.
A specialist with the department will be surveying the area over the next couple of weeks or months, depending on weather conditions. As alligators are generally inactive in the winter, it could require more time to process with multiple on-site inspections.
The spokesperson said that representatives in the community have reached out in hopes of getting the animal or animals removed. The upcoming visit from the specialist will help determine feasibility.
After KVUE first reported this story in early December, game wardens with the department investigated the area but could not confirm if alligators attacked a dog. However, they did confirm alligators have been living in the retention pond in the Berdoll Farms neighborhood.
"Normally, this time of year, winter, cooler months, alligators are more dormant. They shut down when it comes to feeding, and so we don't see a lot of nuisance complaint calls, so this is certainly an aberration as far as what we're normally dealing with this time of year," Jonathan Warner, who heads TPWD's Alligator Program, said at the time. "That said, we're going to continue to monitor the area, work with the community on best practices in dealing with alligators."
Prior to the department's recent approval, Warner said rehoming alligators would typically be a last resort.
"When you remove an individual, normally in healthy populations, it's next man up. There's another one that's going to fill that niche. There's another one that's going to take over, whether that would be a dominant breeding male or a nesting female. It's normally just replaced by another alligator. Obviously, a lot of places in [Travis County], we don't have high populations, so there's a possibility that it's just there's not going to be alligators in there anymore and which certainly would have top-down ramifications for the food food web of that local aquatic ecosystem," Warner said.
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