DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - If a picture is worth a 1000 words, this video is worth more in shares.
Glenn Mitchell and her daughter Lily Thwing encountered a gator at Point Mallard on a Monday morning stroll.
“My mom was like uh no that’s not an alligator you’re just a 14 year old..." Thwing said.
"I thought she had a little active imagination,” Mitchell replied.
The encounter wasn’t imagine.
“I just thought it was a log though floating at first, but once it started moving its tail like this, I was like logs don’t do that (laughs),” Mitchell said.
It was the first time the duo had ever seen a gator live, so WAFF 48 News went to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge for some info on the predator.
Wheeler Wildlife Refuge Supervisory Park Ranger Teresa Adams said gators have been in the valley for decades.
“Enjoy it! If you see it, great! Take a picture of it,” Adams said.
"They've been here a long time, they're just not seen that often."
She said if you steer clear of the predator, you should be fine.
That’s exactly what Glenn and Thwing plan to do.
“We have stand up paddle boards and we’re out there all the time, in that same area. Actually I have a 7 year old who rides on the front of mine... they’re for sale now (laughs),” Glenn said.
- First recorded sighting in June 1964
- Alligator sightings continued through 60s and 70s, even through the winter of 1976-1977
- 55 alligators released into the refuge from Louisiana in June 1979
- Current population estimated at 50-70 alligators