Floodwaters in residential streets attracting wildlife

July 14, 2012 7:24:59 AM PDT
Snakes, fire ants, even alligators -- those are just some of the creatures that come out when floodwaters start to rise.

On Friday evening, an alligator wandered into the parking lot of a restaurant in Oyster Creek. Officers captured the gator as two dozen people looked on.

In northwest Harris County, residents were evacuated because of the flooding and people who decided to stay behind got around with kayaks. Now the big concern is what could be lurking inside the water.

As water pushes people out of roads and homes, it was also displacing alligators, fire ants and snakes.

"I had a four-and-a-half-foot water moccasin in my pond," said Zachary Lee, who we spotted kayaking through the street.

"I'm always kind of curious going in knee-deep water where they're at," said Mark Stone, who we spotted kayaking through the street.

Exterminator Hal Newsom has been trapping rodents and snakes all day.

"They're not happy. They're being relocated from where they're supposed to be," Newsom said.

He took us aboard the Gator Getter for a better idea of what's in the water around us.

"Right now with the water rising like it is, a lot of the animals that live in burrows in the ground are being forced out of the ground and they're coming up," he told us.

Newsom says you can expect to find alligators anywhere you see high water.

"A lot of times you might have a big male in there that's going to be the dominant male, very territorial. He may run the smaller ones out of his area and when the water comes up; it gives them a chance to make all the smaller ones move out," he said.

So if you do happen to run into a creature you weren't expecting to see, Newsom has some advice.

"Don't feed them, don't tease them, don't hit them with a stick, watch them from a safe distance. Common sense goes a long way," he said.

Even after water levels recede, some animals may still not know where to go so this could affect us for weeks to come.

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