Nuisance gator removed from Punta Gorda trailer park

Posted at 8:07 AM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 11:51:02-04

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- Residents in a Punta Gorda mobile home park say a gator got a little too close for comfort.  They believe someone is feeding it, making the gator just a little too friendly.

After what happened at Disney World last week, with a 2 year old boy being attacked, some say it's an accident waiting to happen.

That gator is gone now, but on Sunday, Benjamin Porter says he took some video of it swimming up to him and his friend on the dock at the Pelican Perch Trailer Park.

Porter says he has lived in Southwest Florida for four decades, and he knows when he's seen a hand-fed gator.  "Once you start feeding them, they're fearless.  They act like a pet, they hang out like a pet, and they don't know the difference between your arm and the chicken that you fed them last week."

Porter says this gator slithered up to him and one of his friends at the trailer park on Sunday.  His friend suspects someone there was feeding it, but the park's managers say they tell residents not give food to gators.

But he's not buying it.  "This gator would not come up to the shoreline like this if somebody wasn't feeding him."

Video he took shows the gator making a beeline for Porter and his friend when they put their hand near the water.  It's concerning to him because gators this size can be deadly.  "This gator is 5 feet.  He's probably the same size as the one that took that two year old down in Orlando."

FWC showed up to remove the gator Monday. 

Porter says he'll sleep better at night knowing it's gone.  "Even though there may be no children living in the RV park in the back, someone with kids may come to visit their grandmother there or their aunt there and not know."

FWC has a number on its website.  You can call them if you see a nuisance gator in your neighborhood.  Those are usually gators who are fed by people.