Monday, October 3, 2022

Alligator spotted near Argyle

A screenshot of the drone video of an alligator near Argyle, courtesy of Mike Mirfield

An adult alligator was spotted Monday morning in the Argyle area.

Mike Mirfield said his daughter saw an alligator in a marshy pond behind their home near I-35W, so he quickly grabbed his drone, turned on the video and flew over the area. Seconds later, the unmistakable frame of a large alligator swimming in the water came into view.

An alligator sighting in Denton County is uncommon, but not shocking, according to Jonathan Warner, alligator program leader for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

“Dallas-Fort Worth is at the edge of their natural distribution in Texas,” Warner said. “Every year a few pop up here and there.”

Warner said the alligator definitely appeared to be an adult, but he couldn’t tell from the video what size or sex it is. The gator likely came from one of the large lakes around DFW, and it could have just been making a pit stop.

“This time of year, there’s a lot of alligators on the move,” Warner said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if this a ‘Here today, gone tomorrow’ situation.”

Warner said that even if the gator sticks around, there’s no reason to remove it unless it becomes an imminent public safety threat to a person or pet, or if someone feeds it and it loses its natural fear of humans. If moved now, there’s a decent chance the gator could show back up again soon after.

“I understand why people, especially those who aren’t familiar with alligators, would want us to move it,” Warner said. “But they have an incredible homing ability, so if it wants to get somewhere, it can travel over land for many miles.”

Residents in the area should simply avoid getting near the water when they know an alligator has been spotted.

“They’re very shy,” Warner said. “If they can go through life undetected, they will happily do so. If you know there’s a big alligator in the water like that, don’t try to go near it.”

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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