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Alligator plucked from Longswamp pond, returned to owner

By Jennifer Joas, Reporter, JJoas@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:35:53 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 09 2013 05:40:28 PM CDT

People living in Longswamp Twp., Berks Co., can now rest a little easier.

LONGSWAMP TWP., Pa. -

The hunt for an elusive alligator has come to an end.

A woman in Longswamp Twp., Berks Co., spotted the reptile slipping into her pond Tuesday night. After searching for several hours, the homeowners in the 1600 block of Woodside Avenue waited for the sun to rise to restart their hunt. They tried poking it.

"I can feel it in the bottom just by dragging an oar across and I chased her up enough, but right now, we cannot find it anymore," said Douglas Binder, of Longswamp Township.

They threw several nets in the water, but no matter what they did, it did not seem to help. The gator just would not go down without a fight.

"He has been alluding us all morning," said Binder.

That is until Galvin Wildlife crews returned.

"Finally, I got lucky. I saw where the grass was moving. Everyone else pointed out where the dirt was kicked up from the gator being on the bottom. I just stuck the net down and pulled it to the shore as fast and as hard as I could and the gator was in the net," said Keith Galvin Jr., with Galvin Wildlife Control.

The key component in catching this gator was waiting. Crews had to wait for the water temperature to start rising before the gator showed itself and they were able to catch it.

"This one took a little longer than usual. Usually I get them on dry ground or in small creeks where you can pretty much see them. But with the pond as dark as it was, you just could not see him," said Keith Galvin, with Galvin Wildlife Control.

The alligator was about three feet long. It was returned to its owner, who lives down the road. Now residents along Woodside Avenue can be at peace knowing an alligator is no longer on the prowl.