'Mystery Gator' From Louisiana Travels Nearly 400 Miles To Texas Beach
By Anna Gallegos
June 3, 2021
Alligator sightings in Texas are nothing new, but when one showed up on a south Texas beach, people started to ask questions about how it got there.
The National Park Service was looking for sea turtles on Malaquite Beach on the Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi when they found a young gator on May 24.
Animal experts found a tag on the gator's foot and were able to figure out that it came from Vermilion Parish in Louisiana, which is more than 400 miles away from the Corpus Christi beach.
The gator wasn't in the best shape after that long journey. It was dehydrated and underweight. The gator was taken to the Texas Sealife Center, an animal rescue that will care for it until it's healthy enough to be released back into the wild.
Now, the NPS and the alligator's caretakers are trying to piece together its journey. They suspect that recent flooding in parts of Louisiana may have played a part.
"We are kind of speculating that perhaps it was washed out during one of the flooding events in Louisiana," Kelly Taylor, Padre Island National Seashore public information officer, told CNN. "It had a significant amount of algae on its back that leads us to speculate that it was floating in the Gulf (of Mexico) for a while."
Photo: NPS Photo/K. Rogers