11-foot gator rescued after sunbathing in traffic

CANTON, TX (KLTV) – An 11-foot alligator has been relocated to Canton after it was captured.

A man caught the 500 pound alligator yesterday near the town of Maude, southwest of Texarkana.

"I was working somewhere else on the lake and I got a call from Texas Parks and Wildlife that said ‘We have a nuisance alligator that's 12 feet long. He's in the highway and it's a dangerous situation. Will you come help us with it?'" says Mark McDonald, a professional trapper.

When it comes to alligators, McDonald is no stranger. He is a professional trapper and a wildlife biologist, and has been trapping gators for close to 50 years.

McDonald says game wardens in Bowie County contacted him when passersby noticed the gator on the highway near Maude.

"Because we had these cool nights and he was just trying to gain some body heat. But he had blocked traffic a few times, and they were afraid someone was going to mess with him and get hurt or killed," added McDonald.

Used to working alone, McDonald was fortunate to have some professional help to trap the alligator.

"I roped him tight and got his mouth shut so he couldn't bite anybody and then they helped me drag him and then load him into the trailer because he weighed 500 pounds," explained McDonald.

Then the alligator was taken to his new home at East Texas Gators and Wildlife Park in Canton. McDonald says if you ever encounter an alligator, regardless of the size; do not approach this dangerous animal.

Officials say it took about 20 minutes to capture the gator.

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