Deputies: Stop throwing rocks at gators

MISSOURI CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- It's human instinct to run away when you spot a gator, but Fort Bend County gators are now the ones doing the running.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office posted a warning on social media for people to leave alligators alone. Deputies have received several reports of kids throwing rocks at gators in several locations around the county -- most recently at Kitty Hollow Park.

Aside from the fact that it's animal abuse and illegal, provoking these reptiles could land kids in a world of trouble.

"The one time it was two of them here. And then, I think it was last week that I seen him in the bushes over there," said Dana Spriggs.

In an alert posted to its social media pages, the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office said, "It's unfortunate we must send out reminders for people to leave alligators alone. Parents, do not allow your child to throw rocks or anything else at alligators that are sunning. We have received reports of this occurring at Kitty Hollow Park and other locations."

Christy Kroboth, with the Gator Squad, said Fort Bend County is a gator hot bed especially this time of year.

"I always say if you see an alligator in the wild, enjoy it, stay back and take pictures. Enjoy it. Do not approach," she said. "Alligators are typically shy of people, and they have nerves of steel. They'll stay real still until you get within striking zone. And if you harass them enough, they will react."

Spriggs said he watched that happen when a gator went after a teenage boy.

"He started throwing little things at it, and it turned and came to him and it actually came up on land after him. He had to jump up off the bench and run," Spriggs said.

Throwing anything at gators, or any animal is considered animal abuse.

The sheriff's office added, "It is illegal and we would be happy to write them a ticket for it. Please call us or your local law enforcement immediately if you observe this activity. Additionally, gators are native wildlife and are not removed from waterways simply 'because they are there.'"

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