June 11, 2009

Blind alligator hits Ala. island beach

A wildlife expert said a 12-foot alligator that cleared a Dauphin Island, Ala., beach swam through the Gulf of Mexico to the island because he is blind.

Wildlife Specialist Gary Casper said he was called by Marine Police after beachgoers spotted the reptile emerging from the water and vacated the beach, WALA-TV, Mobile, Ala., reported Thursday.

It's a public safety hazard; a 12-foot alligator during tourist season on Dauphin Island on the beach when people are day and night swimming, Casper said.

He said while this was the third gator sighting on Casper Island this summer, the incident represented a special case.

He was blind, Casper said of the reptile. He didn't know where he was. He got washed up and ended up on Dauphin Island.

The expert said the alligator also appeared to have been injured by a boat propeller.

This makes him dangerous because he's going to come back up the beach. Some tourists could be walking there thinking he's dead and then go up and kick him. Because he can't see you it's not a good idea, he said.

Casper said the gator had to be euthanized due to its injuries and the danger that it could get defensive if approached.