Alligator Captured at Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier

Jason Clark Captured the Lake Lanier Alligator
Jason Clark Captured the Lake Lanier Alligator

DNR Communications & Outreach Specialist Melissa Cummings sent us a press release with good news!  Lake Lanier is alligator free!  (Probably.  Who really knows how many more there are?)

The gator that’s been making news recently was spotted across the Chattahoochee River from Don Carter State Park.  Since mid-July, it seems like every time someone saw the sea monster, it grew another foot longer.  Although the critter wasn’t exactly the Leviathan of Lanier, it was hard to capture.

I spoke with Jason Clark of Southeastern Reptile Rescue who grabbed the yard-long alligator on Thursday, August 31, 2016.  (Jason is an official DNR alligator agent-trapper.  Please don’t try this at home.)  After chasing the gator under docks and around boats, Jason captured it using a snag hook — a “live capture technique that poses no significant harm to the alligator.”

Our interview didn’t last long.  He said he had been up for 35-hours straight.  So, after getting him to promise to name the gator “Fluffy,” I let him go back to bed.

Chief of Game Management with the Wildlife Resources Division John Bowers wasn’t terribly worried about Fluffy.  “Due to the small size of the animal, it did not pose a substantial public safety concern.  However, this alligator was in unsuitable habitat well outside its normal range.  It is our policy that such alligators be removed and, when appropriate, relocated to its natural habitat.”

According to the DNR, there was some concern the gator may not have been releasable.  However, after further consultation and investigation between Mr. Clark and DNR biologists, it was determined that this alligator is not human habituated, has no life-threatening injuries and is in good health.  As such, it will be relocated to South Georgia well within the range of alligators in Georgia.

In Georgia, alligators typically live along and south of the cities of Columbus, Macon and Augusta, occupying natural wetland habitats, including marshes, swamps, rivers, farm ponds and lakes.

We wish a bon voyage to Fluffy, with our thanks to Jason Clark that Lake Lanier is alligator free.

About Author

Robert J. Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA.
Robert has two adult daughters, seven practically perfect grandchildren and a zippy Kawasaki. Contact Robert at [email protected].

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