Gator at Cinco Ranch park lives dangerously close to children

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CINCO RANCH, Texas – Some parents are worried that there's an alligator too close to where families walk and children play.

Others say the gator has been there for a long time and everyone should just leave it alone.

In Cinco Ranch, off Cinco Ranch Boulevard, there is a small pond with a nice waterfall. It's a peaceful part of the neighborhood where people ride bikes and walk their dogs.

In the middle of all the beauty, basking in the sun, lives an 8-foot long alligator.

"My husband turned and said, 'There's an alligator in the lake.' It was about in the middle of the lake, and the head was sticking out, you could just see the head," Vanessa Montgomery said.

The gator is sometimes just feet away from a walking path that runs near a kids park and a community pool. Some parents said it is too close for comfort.

"There's kids that play around here. We never let my son play tennis or come around here because of the alligator," Darla Butler said.

Others who live in the area said the gator been around for several years now. It actually lives in the nearby bayou and goes back and forth between the park and the bayou. There are several other gators who also live in the same bayou.

An alligator is seen in a bayou in Cinco Ranch on March 11, 2019.

Some said there is no need to panic and parents should use the situation as a teaching moment.

"I'm teaching my daughters they can look from a safe distance, (they) shouldn't play around the edge of the lake, if a ball goes into the lake they shouldn't go after it," Carol Vale said.

"I'm not about doing away with them we just have to learn how to live peacefully; everyone should maintain a safe distance. Don't let your pets run around unattended. I don't think an alligator can scale a fence," Stephanie Babb said.

Officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife said to never approach a gator and definitely never feed them. If there is a report of a gator being a nuisance in a neighborhood, they contract someone to come remove the animal. At last check, the gator in Cinco Ranch has not been deemed a nuisance.

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