Alligators in this lake have started to attack people – and it's unclear why

Alligator attacks are highly unusual for the area, according to locals.

American alligator (photo credit: PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
American alligator
(photo credit: PUBLIC DOMAIN/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Alligators in the Sugar Land lake in Texas have been attacking boats recently, concerning local residents, KHOU-11 News reported last week.

At the lake in Sugar Land, two incidents occurred in two weeks involving an alligator attacking a boat.

In response to the incidents, trappers hired by the First Colony’s Home Owners Association have set up operations in the area. So far, they have successfully caught one gator, according to KHOU.

The events are highly unusual for the region, according to locals.

Alligator attacks are rare in the area

American alligator at Bear Island Campground in the Big Cypress National Preserve (credit: BOBYELLOW/CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)American alligator at Bear Island Campground in the Big Cypress National Preserve (credit: BOBYELLOW/CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

“I’ve been rowing over 20 years in this body of water and we’ve never had an alligator attack.”

Dee Connors, president of the Greater Houston Rowing Club

Although there are 400,000-500,000 alligators in Texas, attacks are uncommon at this lake, according to Newsweek.

“I’ve been rowing over 20 years in this body of water and we’ve never had an alligator attack,” Dee Connors, president of the Greater Houston Rowing Club, told KHOU.

Connors recounted how one of the attacks unfolded.

“One day he [one of the men on the boats] hit the alligator with his oar,” she said. “On the second day, the alligator chomped the end of his boat and his boat started sinking, but he made it to shore. He had to walk his boat about a mile, but nobody was hurt.”

In the other attack, “Another one of the rowers was just rowing out behind me and another one of the alligators chomped the end of his boat, he didn’t get it as hard as the first one so he was able to row it to shore,” she added.

Why are the alligators behaving abnormally?

No one is certain why the alligators have become aggressive but some mentioned that vegetation along the banks of Oyster Creek had been cleared, potentially leaving their nests exposed. This could possibly be a factor in the alligators' strange behavior, as they may be defending themselves against encroachment on their habitat.