Trapper catches 2 large gators; 3rd still out there

Published: Jul. 13, 2011 at 11:01 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2011 at 9:50 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A 12-foot gator was captured in the Ogeechee River, less than 100 yards from swimmers on Tuesday night.

Trapper Jack Douglas was called to reel in the monster gator. He caught another one early Wednesday morning. This one was 9 feet long.

As WTOC first reported Tuesday night, the Department of Natural Resources called in Trapper Jack late Tuesday afternoon. At 2 a.m., he had two big gators pulled from the Ogeechee River. There are no signs warning swimmers about the dangers of gators, just the standard "Swim At Your Own Risk," but Trapper Jack warns another large alligator still lurks out there.

"They can size you up, especially the high pitch sound a small kid makes that can turn them on," Douglas told WTOC.

Douglass says the 12-foot gator, now dead in a cooler is among the top 50 catches he has had since he got his trapper's license in 1989.

You can see the huge size difference between the 12-footer, which he says was about 30 to 40 years old, and the much younger and smaller 9-foot gator he caught just a little while later.

"We had seen two but when we got the second one hooked up a third one showed up that we did not get, which was around 9 foot," Douglas said.

Douglas says neighbors had been feeding the gators hot dogs and the people swimming in the river, especially children, were in clear danger. Pets swimming with them also would not help keep gators away.

"Just as far as they can see, they will come for a dog," Douglas said. "Always have an adult out there watching. Don't swim with your pets. A lot of people like to take their dogs in the water. I've seen gators come all the way across the river just because they know a dog is in that water."

With two down, Douglas says a third 9-foot gator is still out there.

"We'll be watching for that one. Someone will him and call me," he said. "Nine foot is still dangerous. That's a big alligator."

Some people have asked, why doesn't the trapper just capture the gators and release them somewhere else? He says these gators are so big and strong, anything bigger than six feet has to be put down.  They can get wild and the tails are so strong, they could knock down any man of any size.

He says the warnings remain. You can swim in the water, but you will be swimming at your own risk. He also wants people to stop feeding the alligators.

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