CAPE CORAL, FL — We all know there’s a chance you are going to see an alligator here in Florida — whether that’s down Alligator Alley or sometimes right in your own backyard. And today we found quite the story as a Cape Coral man explains his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity helping to trap an almost 10-foot gator.
Dennis Wilbur says this is an experience he’ll remember forever, “I was texting my family and because like I said, I hunt and fish, so I drug deer out but I’ve never drug an alligator out.”
Dennis Wilber of Cape Coral says he and his wife rode their golf cart over the weekend to an area where they feed ducks off Del Prado when they saw the large alligator.
“A gator trapper showed up to trap 'em and I’m quite interested in it so I watched, and I saw the guys actually catch the gator, and then they had to drag it quite someway,” says Wilber.
Wilber asked if he could help… “I was able to go over and help them and actually touch the gator and carry it, I helped load it onto the truck so it was quite a pleasurable experience for me.” That alligator turned out to be 9 foot 6 and around 300 pounds.
Wilbur tells me he’s seen gators often but not one this big. I told him this is quite the Florida Man story.
“I was actually born and raised on a dairy farm so I’m used to the outdoors and it amazes me — I really love it so it was a different experience, a different animal, but the wildlife down here is just unbelievable... the gators, the fish and everything is just beautiful,” says Wilber.
The FWC confirmed with Fox 4 that they received a call on January 18th to their Nuisance Alligator Hotline regarding an alligator at 1619 Del Prado Blvd South in Cape Coral. The contracted nuisance alligator trapper removed the 9-foot 6-inch alligator on January 21st and transferred it live to a farm.
“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it was fantastic. My hat is off to the alligator trapper! They are really great guys and they did a fantastic job with it. I want to thank them for allowing me to be a part," says Wilber.
This year from January 1st until today there’s been 35 calls from Lee County to the Nuisance Alligator Hotline.
The FWC says serious injuries by alligators are rare in Florida and that people with concerns about an alligator should contact FWC’s toll-free nuisance alligator hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR.