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FAYETTE CO.: DNR working to catch alligator spotted in family's pond | News

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FAYETTE CO.: DNR working to catch alligator spotted in family's pond

SENOIA, Ga. -- An alligator has unexpectedly found a new and comfortable home in a family's pond on the Fayette County - Coweta County line near Senoia. Now the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is spending hours on end trying to get it out.

The alligator spends most of its time submerged in the water, occasionally exposing its eyes and part of its snout. Kevin Kramer with the Department on Natural Resources says their goal is to bring the animal out alive.

It was Monday afternoon when Pat Dennis spotted the gator swimming in the pond in front of the home of his neighbor, Judy Voyles, off of Georgia Highway 85 east of Senoia, and south of Peachtree City and Fayetteville.

Then Judy Voyles' daughter, Kristy Thompson, posted photos of the gator on her Facebook page.

And soon families from nearby neighborhoods were gathering at the pond's edge, watching the gator swim contentedly around the pond, and taking their own photos of it -- mostly of its half-submerged head and snout. 

DNR rangers later said the crowds made capture more difficult; the alligator, scared by the noise, would stay near the bottom of the pond. Wednesday, the Voyles blocked their driveway entrance and posted another "No Trespassing" sign in hopes of keeping the crowds at bay.

A reptile trapper, Jason Clark of Southeastern Reptile Rescue, estimated that the alligator is around seven to eight feet long, and said there is no question it is finding plenty of fish and turtles to eat in the pond.

Rangers with the Department of Natural Resources spent most of Wednesday afternoon trying to lure the alligator to the surface. They first tried baiting him from the shore by tapping along the waterline. After several hours, they took two boats into the water, but came out empty-handed.

They will return Thursday afternoon to set several alligator traps.

The pond is next to Line Creek, which is the county line between Fayette and Coweta Counties.  Line Creek is a tributary of the Flint River. 

No one could be sure how the alligator found its way to that pond.  Trappers on the scene speculated that one way the gator might gotten there was that it might have worked its way along the Flint River, eating and swimming its way upstream from somewhere in South Georgia.

Sightings of alligators in North Georgia are infrequent, but not unusual.  Within the past three years alone, small gators have been spotted in such cooler waters as Lake Lanier and in the Chattahoochee River near Powers Ferry Island.