AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some kayakers got a surprise while paddling in Lady Bird Lake recently.
Anna Eulo sent us a couple photos of an alligator — yes, an alligator — hanging out on a small spot in Lady Bird Lake near Festival Beach. The photos were taken at 5:22 p.m. on July 6.
Eulo said at first, she simply didn’t believe it was an alligator. As she approached the alligator in her inflatable kayak, things became a bit more clear, she said.
“I wasn’t really that scared due to the size of it and the fact it dipped back into the water, maybe because it was scared, but it was crazy to think that there could also be a mom and dad gator as well, she said.”
“Seeing the alligator was a very cool experience,” she said.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, seeing alligators in counties east of Interstate 35 is fairly common, and occasionally they’ll make their way into this area during drought conditions.
On TPWD’s website, there’s extensive information on alligators in Texas. While most of the information involves rules and regulations on hunting alligators, (which you can do with the proper licenses), it says the range of alligators covers approximately 120 counties, with Travis County included in a secondary habitat area.
TPWD also says alligators are naturally shy and will generally avoid interaction with humans. TPWD says only one death in Texas can be attributed to an alligator attack. It happened in 2015 in Orange, Texas, when a 28-year-old man was killed on July 3 of that year.
In 2018, an alligator was spotted in a brushy area near Skyline Drive in Kingsland.
As long as you keep your distance and don’t disturb alligators, you’ll be fine. TPWD also says to not feed alligators, as they tend to lose fear of people when they have been fed multiple times.