KATY, Texas, Oct. 12 (UPI) — Residents of a Texas neighborhood are engaged in a dispute with authorities about efforts to capture an alligator living in a retention pond.
Fort Bend Municipal Utilities District 151 said plans were made to capture and relocate the alligator, dubbed Thor by locals, after landscaping crews reported being stalked by the reptile while working around the pond, located behind the Firethorne community near Katy in Fort Bend County.
Local resident Mason Weiler said he found the alligator hooked to a trap Saturday morning.
“I pulled on [the line] and sure enough the alligator started freaking out,” Weiler told KTRK-TV.
“We decided that cutting it loose would be the right thing to do. We didn’t know if it was a professional job,” Weiler said. “Nobody in the neighborhood was aware he was gonna be removed, so I set him free. I thought that was the right thing to do.”
MUD 151 said efforts to capture the gator have been suspended while officials consider requests from homeowners to leave Thor in the pond.
“No one has ever seen the gator anywhere, but in a few feet of the pond,” homeowner DeLila Cooprider said.
Local resident MaryBeth Whitt started a GoFundMe page to raise awareness of Thor’s plight and raise funds for an alligator rescue center.
“Our MUD put in a request to remove a ‘nuisance alligator,’ yet there have been no reports of Thor actually causing problems,” Whitt wrote. “Earlier this week someone had placed traps around the lake to capture Thor, and due to the nature of the traps it does not look like like they were going to be used to relocate the alligator.”
“I have made this page in hope to raise awareness of what is going on, and also to raise money that will be donated to a nearby alligator rescue center,” she wrote.
Kim Byrne Whitt, MaryBeth’s mother, said in a Facebook post the GoFundMe money might also go toward medical help for Thor, who residents fear could suffer consequences from still being attached to the hook from the trap.