WILMER It's certainly not something you'd expect to see swimming in a man-made retention pond with a fountain in the middle.

A six-foot alligator has made himself right at home at the industrial park off Interstate 45, and even the game warden had trouble catching him.

Wilmer police officers and firefighters stood at the bank, waiting for the water to reveal a challenge they know they can't conquer.

Then, it appeared. At first playing peek-a-boo, then returning to swim slowly, back-and-forth, like an Olympian on a victory lap.

I imagine he got here accidentally during the rains and floods, said Mary Phinney, who runs the Dallas County trails program. She thinks the gator is here because we're building in his habitat.

But Phinney is surprised by the giant reptile's boldness. The alligators are usually very shy animals; this one is unusual, she said. He's coming up and looking at us.

It is actually the job of game warden David Bosecker to catch this gator.

I was trained to catch alligators, and I have caught them before in a training scenario, he said.

But if Bosecker appears to lack confidence, there's a good reason. When I was in the academy, one of my fellow cadets got bit by an alligator, he said. The alligator clamped down on his hand and drug him about four or five feet.

That's why the game warden called in an expert trapper. Thursday night, that trapper caught the gator.


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