Local/State

Got her! Wildlife officials nab Berks County alligator

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

After several brief sightings in the last two days wildlife officials managed to wrangle in an alligator lurking in a Berks County pond.

As you would imagine, Henrietta caused quite a stir when Christine Knight first saw the gator Tuesday evening near the family koi pond on Woodside Avenue in Longswamp Township... where her four and five-year-old children were feeding the fish just a few feet away.

Christine tells us, "I called my boyfriend, and he brought over his 9mm. And then I see my dad come running out with his gun, because I guess the kids ran in and told him."

All the attention apparently frightened Henrietta, who jumped into the pond and spent the better part of the next 24 hours eluding her would-be captors.

The group trying to corral the reptile included the neighbor who owns the gator, identifying himself only as Joe, the local animal control guys Keith Galvin and Keith Galvin Junior, and Christine's dad, Doug Binder.

Doug was not too happy about Joe's gator jumping into his fishpond.

He explains, "We have koi we just put in here, and [Joe] said [Henrietta] was a little ill, it wasn't going to eat, but we haven't seen our koi in 2 days."

After a full day of poking and skimming and waiting, Henrietta raised her head not too far from where Keith Junior was standing with a big old fishing net.

Junior pulled managed to pull her out while our cameras were rolling. He says he's captured a bunch of different animals with his dad over the years, but nothing like this.

"This is the first one I've ever went with in a pond, so it was a learning experience. It was a really good learning experience," said Galvin Junior.

Meantime, Doug Binder says this is the most excitement he has had on his family farm in quite a while.

Local authorities say you do not need a permit to own an alligator in Longswamp Township.

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berks county news, pennsylvania news, animals, local/state
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