Terrifying Video Shows Predatory Gator Lurking Before "Chomping" Rower's Boat
"The alligators normally don't bother you," say confused locals.
Rogue alligators have been attacking boats in Houston, Texas, causing great concern in the community. In two separate incidents, alligators "chomped" on row boats, alarming residents who have lived peacefully with the reptiles for decades. "We've never had an attack," says Greater Houston Rowing Club president Dee Connors. "The alligators have always been there. You see them, (and) they'll just float away. There's plenty to eat in Oyster Creek. They have no need to chase a boat." Here's what might explain the gators' aggression.
The first attack occurred when local man Eugene Janssen was rowing along Oyster Creek and accidentally hit an alligator with his oar. "The next day, an alligator came up under his boat and bit the boat," Connors says. Janssen heard a crunching sound before water started flooding into his boat. He raced to shore and discovered a giant bite mark on the boat, a first in all his years of rowing on the creek. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.
The homeowner's association was alarmed enough by the situation to hire someone to capture the aggressive beast and prevent any further attacks. Trappers successfully caught and relocated the gator thought to be responsible for the boat attack, but just days later an alligator struck again: Local man Walter Pasciak was out rowing when a five-foot-long alligator attacked his boat without provocation. "Thousands of people have rowed on Oyster Creek for years and years," Pasciak says. "The alligators normally don't bother you."
At first, Pasciak wasn't sure what had happened. "When you're in one of these boats, you're going backwards," Pasciak says. "It felt like I hit a huge log or boulder in the water. The boat suddenly slowed down and almost stopped, and then I saw a huge swirl of water, which you see if you pass an alligator." He later discovered bite marks on the underside of his boat. "I was lucky," Pasciak said. "Something like that can flip you off the boat, which can be a difficult experience when there's an aggressive alligator in the water."
There are a few theories being floated to explain why the alligators are being uncharacteristically aggressive towards humans. "I believe it might have been a scared young alligator or an alligator trying to protect her nest," says Connors, who believes the alligator responsible for the first attack was not the one the trappers ended up catching. The gators might also be angry because their homes were being destroyed. "Someone, I assume the city, had started cleaning up that brush," Connors says. "They may have disturbed the alligators' habitat, where the gators used to hang out and a lot of them had nests."
Another possible explanation for the gator attacks is they were caught by surprise and reacted defensively. "These were narrow boats that do not make any noise," says Fort Bend Game Warden Ryan Powers. "So it's likely the boat snuck up on an alligator that was on the surface and hit the alligator, and the alligator reacted how they would in a defensive manner. While there have been isolated instances in the past, no, humans are not prey to alligators."
"There's always going to be alligators," Connors says. "If you live in Texas, you live with them. Don't harass them. This is their home. We need to be able to share the water."
TMX contributed to this story.