We don’t have alligators in Western North Carolina. Except for this one:
Maybe it’s just here for Bele Chere.
According someone quoted in the local paper, this is a young gator or a caiman, a relative of the alligator. Since neither alligators nor caimans are native to this area (it gets way too cold here for large reptiles to survive), this seems to be a pet reptile that some heartless, irresponsible asshole abandoned in the river to die. This part of the French Broad is in the WNC mountains, and alligators and snow don’t mix. The gator isn’t expected to survive the winter. I hope that someone catches it and takes it somewhere where it can have a normal alligator life.
Here’s more on the alligator sightings from Headwaters Outfitters:
UPDATE JULY 30: The French Broad gator was captured on July 29 by a group of locals who didn’t want it to freeze to death in the winter or be hunted and killed. It is now a ward of the state and awaiting relocation. Read more here: https://jennifersaylor.wordpress.com/2006/07/30/french-broad-gator-captured/