Gator menaces Marco Island neighborhood with crumbling seawall

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. A baby alligator in a canal isn’t too scary — but when a collapsed seawall gives the gator access to people’s lawns, that’s a problem.

“It keeps encroaching, getting closer and closer, so it’s obviously getting more comfortable with its environment,” Marco Island resident Brian Sexton said.

 

Sexton and his neighbors are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the gator, which has been in the canal since Hurricane Irma came through, Sexton said.

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“Our thoughts are this one got displaced during Irma … because we’ve never seen one,” he said.

 

It’s bad timing, since the entire seawall needs to be replaced.

“We’re in line, like most people in this (Collier) county, and Lee County as well, to get our seawall fixed,” Sexton said. “You can’t force the hand of the business owners that do the seawall repairs.”

But the gaps where the wall is falling give the gator a perfect path to crawl up onto lawns.

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“Its natural habitat really isn’t here in a channel with residents and kids — and we have four dogs — so we obviously don’t want a gator here,” Sexton said.

Gators rely on outside heat to regulate their body temperatures, and they often go on land to bask in the sun.”

“You’ve got the Everglades there right down the road,” Sexton said. “It needs to go hang out down there, in our opinion.”

Sexton doesn’t know when the seawall will be fixed. He reported the gator to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and hopes a trapper will be out soon.

Reporter:Hannah Vogel

Writer:Chuck Myron
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