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Wild ride! Small gator found on Central Texas driveway

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:37 PM CDT
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AXTELL, Texas (KWTX) - Finding an alligator in your Central Texas driveway is very unusual. How this alligator ended up in an Axtell driveway is even more unusual.

If we were in Louisiana, this probably wouldn’t have made the news, but in Central Texas, a gator in a driveway stands out like a sore thumb.

That’s exactly what happened to Hailey Brannen in Axtell shortly before noon Tuesday. She spotted what she thought was a plastic bag under a truck in her driveway, then moved it.

“I told my husband it looked like a gator. He said, ‘there are no gators in Texas.’ We looked closer and, yep, it was a gator.”

A three-foot juvenile alligator.

Hailey’s husband called his cousin for help catching the gator and they somehow avoided the toothy end.

The couple then called a local game warden and kept the gator in a trash can until the warden arrived.

The warden said the sheriff’s office got a call about a man who took a small, three-foot alligator to a local bar Monday night.

“Apparently, they took the alligator to a bar. Then someone took it for a ride on a motorcycle. They gave it to someone else who put it in a kennel at their home and it got out! It walked down the road and across the street and ended up underneath the truck,” said Game Warden Michael Serbanic.

Serbanic believes the gator was captured at a pond between Axtell and the Texas State Technical Institute. How it got there is anyone’s guess.

“Alligators are extremely rare in this area but they’re not unheard of. My guess it was someone’s pet who let it go after it got too big,” Serbanic said.

As for the people who thought taking an alligator to a bar was a good idea, it wasn’t.

“Possessing and transporting an alligator is illegal. They may be facing some charges,” said Serbanic.

News 10 has learned the three people who took the gator on the night out have been cited for illegal possession of an alligator. The fine carries a maximum penalty of $500.

Brannen is just glad it was her and her husband - and not their young children - who discovered the gator.

“We’re less then two feet away from this alligator and didn’t even know it. If they would have found it, it may have turned out way different,” she said.

News 10 has learned the gator - a female now named Gatorade - is now settling in nicely at Cameron Park Zoo.

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