RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas - It is alligator mating season in the Rio Grande Valley, and the big reptiles are out looking for love. You won't believe the size of the amorous alligator Richard Moore encountered crossing a valley roadway.
Alligators are on the prowl in deep South Texas, and there are some very large gators roaming the waterways and roadways of the Rio Grande Valley during the current mating season.
This massive 10-foot plus reptile was out for a stroll on a recent morning at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.
With measured steps, the enormous creature lumbered across the road toward the big lake at the refuge.
When you see alligators in the water, sometimes all you glimpse are head and eyes, and even when they swim by it is difficult to fully evaluate their size.
When out sunning, you get a better idea of their length and girth, but it really isn't until they are up and moving on all fours that their incredible bulk is fully revealed.
Nobody knows how many of the toothy reptiles inhabit the Valley, but there is a thriving population at Laguna Atascosa and adjoining ranches.
Alligators and their predecessors have been roaming the earth for some 200 million years, but it is a mater of conjecture as to how long they have been residing in southernmost Texas.
An 1898 volume of the U.S. National Museum states alligators occur as far south as the Rio Grande. However, others believe the Nueces River was historically their southernmost home, and the Valley's gator population is a result of escaped or released pets.
Whatever their origins, the Valley has harbored a relatively small population of alligators along the coast at least since the 1970's.
Since the lower Valley's system of resacas and canals are all interconnected it is best to be on the lookout for the big reptiles…oh yeah, and watch out for them on the road too!