Here’s something I never thought we would see in this neck of the woods.

I had always heard rumors of alligators being sighted at Lake Texoma, but thought they were just that – rumors. And then in 2018, a picture shared by the Army Corps of Engineers proved the legend to be true.

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Now we’re seeing even more alligators in North Texas. Wildlife photographer Jimmy Martin shared pictures of a 10-foot alligator taking in some sun at Fort Worth’s Nature Center & Refuge.

After seeing pictures of alligators in multiple North Texas lakes, CBS 11 reached out to Sam Kieschnick, an Urban Wildlife Photographer for Texas Parks and Wildlife for comment. Kieschnick, who had seen a few dozen alligators in Lake Worth and Lake Lewisville, understands people are skeptical:

I appreciate that there is a level of skepticism, with all pictures that we see online. I appreciate that. But in the case of these alligators…they’re here.

Kieschnick says we can thank the high waters resulting from all of the rain we’ve gotten recently for the increase in alligator sightings. It’s also possible that there’s an increase in sightings because the pandemic is causing people to spend more time in the outdoors.

Here’s to hoping I never run into one of those things around here, because I would probably be frozen with fear. I realize they’re a part of the ecosystem and aren’t considered a threat, but that doesn’t make ‘em any less frightening to me. I mean, I did grow up in Vernon, Texas, where the only alligators you’ll ever see are in the form of cowboy boots.

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