Video – Tampa Police Rope a Nine Foot Gator on Howard Avenue

Tampa Police had to trap a gator blocking the road on Howard Avenue measuring 9 feet, 4 inches Wednesday.

Police called alligator trapper Phil Waters to remove the animal from the scene on Howard Avenue and Kathleen Street. While waiting for a trapper to arrive, two officers held down the gator as a third wrapped duct tape around its mouth.

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Tampa Gator

Waters believes the animal came out of the Hillsborough River due to a small creek that comes off the river to the Howard Avenue area.

According to Walters, the gators are more active this year due to the warmer weather we’re experiencing, and mating season is right around the corner. Walters expects gators to be very busy over the next couple of months. Captain Walters added that he’d had ten gators in the back of his truck over the past week.

“This time of year, for whatever reason, they start walking around, looking for love, looking for new places to eat – they’re hungry,” Walters stated. “This is the time of year to be aware of your surroundings. Look where you put your feet and hands. Look before you jump in the pool. I take them out of pools this time of year. Look before you walk out the door. Look before you step out of bed if you have a doggy door.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, an alligator is deemed a nuisance if it is at least four feet long and the caller believes it poses a threat to people, pets, or property. The trapper can kill the gator or sell it to an alligator farm, exhibit, or zoo.

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FWC also warned against feeding alligators. It’s not only illegal and dangerous, but officials said it could cause alligators to lose their natural weariness towards people, which can lead them to associate people with food availability.

Anyone who sees an alligator out of place is asked to contact Florida Fish and Wildlife at 866- 492-4288.

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