ARANSAS PASS, Texas — Walmart shoppers waiting for the store to open earlier this week found someone else waiting with them.
But instead of trying to get to the front of the line Wednesday, this 8-foot alligator was heading toward a nearby pond just before 6 a.m. CT and about a half hour before sunrise. Officers arrived, found the gator in the parking lot and called officials with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to help it get to a more suitable spot, said Capt. Lynn Pearce of the Aransas Pass Police Department.
"We have a few alligators, but we have not seen one this big," Pearce said.
Though a lot of Aransas Pass, about 15 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, is on the slightly salty Aransas Bay, the Walmart store is about 3 miles from shore. Alligators are usually found in freshwater because they don't have the glands to tolerate salt water for long periods.
The Walmart alligator is about average for a female, according to the Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute in Washington. The average male is a little more than 11 feet long.
The officers who wrestled this gator didn't say whether it was a male or female.
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