RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas — There are some mighty big alligators prowling the waterways and sometimes the roadways of the lower Rio Grande Valley. Richard Moore brings us the story of one large gator that was hit on a Cameron County highway.
A massive alligator was recently struck and killed by a vehicle on Highway 106 east of Rio Hondo. The 10-foot plus alligator was still on the road when Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Shane Horrocks happened on the scene.
“It is extremely rare to come across an alligator of this size that is still in the roadway after somebody had struck it with a vehicle.” said Warden Horrocks.
Whoever hit the big gator fled the scene, but an array of vehicle parts were scattered along the roadside.
Warden Horrocks, “This was a rather large alligator, between 200-300 pounds…a little over 10 feet long. An animal that size in the middle of the road can cause some damage even afterwards if someone isn’t watching.”
There are some mighty big gators prowling the waterways and sometimes the roadways of the lower Rio Grande Valley, and it is best to slow down and be alert especially when traveling along roads that bisect refuge properties and private ranch lands.
Warden Horrocks adds, “I just stress that everybody keep their eyes open, early in the morning and late at night when these animals are moving.”
In addition to alligators, other wildlife like Whitetail deer and Nilgai antelope frequently cross Valley roadways.
Unfortunately, vehicle strikes are the number one cause of death for the Valley’s endangered ocelot population. While a series of highway underpasses have been constructed to facilitate safe travel for the rare cats no ocelot has yet been documented using the new underpasses.
As more highways continue to be built throughout South Texas, wildlife has no choice but to cross roads from scattered remnants of remaining habitat, and drivers need to exercise the utmost caution.