'I saw his eyes': Driver spots 11-foot alligator roaming in Missouri City neighborhood

Rosie Nguyen Image
Sunday, May 21, 2023
11-foot alligator spotted roaming in Missouri City neighborhood
Missouri City man spots an 11-foot alligator roaming in the Quail Valley Thunderbird neighborhood in southeast Texas.

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Gator sightings are not uncommon in southeast Texas, so that's why one neighbor who spotted the creature said he knew exactly what to do.

Cornealous Greigg Jr., a resident in the Quail Valley Thunderbird neighborhood of Missouri City, came across the lengthy gator Sunday at about 12:30 a.m. while driving home.

He said he had to take a double look at the reptile that was just a few houses down from where he lives.

"I saw his eyes. I didn't see him, I saw his eyes. So, it made me do a U-turn, and then when I did the U-turn, I drove slow, and then I saw him," Greigg said. "He was ginormous. He was huge. I've never seen one that big up close."

He told ABC13 he knew to stay in his car and to call the police, who came and kept an eye on the scene until a trapper arrived about an hour later. Within that time frame, he recalled the gator only moved about three yards and didn't appear very aggressive.

Greigg recorded videos of the gator and shared them with Eyewitness News. One video shows the gator being hoisted up by a wrecker truck after the capture, which took about three hours to complete.

According to the trapper, the lengthy detainment was because the reptile put up quite a fight. It weighs about 1,200 pounds, spans about 11 feet in length, and is about 85 years old.

"I had to get his mouth secure and taped up. He kept throwing the rope and towel off, snapping his jaws, and swinging his tail at me. He kept flopping around at different angles where we couldn't get him high enough to get him in the bed of the truck. An alligator like this could knock my leg off real easy. He's just a massive beast," Timothy DeRamus, with alligator control for the State of Texas, said.

DeRamus told Eyewitness News that the gator would be taken to Gator Country Rescue Park.

Experts say this time of year is normally mating season for gators. Males begin to get territorial and start wandering outside their normal living habitat area, leading to more sightings.

Greigg has lived in the neighborhood for about 10 years and has seen about seven gators. He told ABC13 he spotted another one in his pool last month, although it was only about five feet long.

According to The Texas Parks & Wildlife, our state has seen a rapid repopulation of alligators during the past 20 years due to legal protection, enhanced habitat conditions, and new water impoundment projects.

"To complicate matters, an ever-expanding human population continues to encroach upon the alligator's domain. These factors contribute to increased encounters between alligators and people," according to the organization.

They say most southeast Texans will live near these native reptiles with no confrontations.

If you see an alligator, The Texas Parks & Wildlife advises you to notify authorities and not to attempt to move it yourself or try to feed the reptile.

See The Texas Parks & Wildlife's full list of "dos and don'ts" if you encounter a creepy critter.

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