September 29, 2009

Police tape up alligator in Texas

San Antonio police said officers used duct tape and a prisoner transport van to capture and relocate a 4-foot alligator found in a residential neighborhood.

The police department said officers responded to a disturbance call at about 6 a.m. Monday and taped the reptile's jaws shut after being unable to reach a game warden, the San Antonio Express-News reported Tuesday.

The officers loaded the gator into an empty prisoner transport van and it was handed over to Game Warden David Chavez, who released it into the San Antonio River, where the species is native.

Richard Heilbrun, an urban wildlife biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said alligators measuring less than 6 feet long are only removed by officers if they are near a bus stop or an area frequented by children.

It's not hard to do, just like the cops did, you jump on top of it and tape its mouth, Heilbrun said of catching alligators. However, he cautioned against people trying it.