Friday, June 14th 2019, 5:09 pm - Local resident says that "it looks like a steak knife"
A bizarre animal sighting recently occurred near Houston, Texas - a large alligator was spotted swimming with a large knife sticking out of its head.
The lakeside community of Orchard Lakes Estates is used to large reptiles and often see alligators, however, residents are concerned about how the alligator sustained this injury.
Erin Weaver, the resident that captured the photos of the alligator, says that "it looks like a steak knife" and that she feels like somebody did this on purpose.
Weaver states that she has never seen the animals act aggressively or defensively and that they swim underwater when they are startled by humans.
"This was definitely human-caused," says Cheryl Sheridan, the Head Zookeeper and Facility Manager at the Reptilia Zoo and Education Center.
Credit: Erin Weaver
"In the photo, the knife looks to be very close, if it not within the eye, which would have been the easiest access point for the knife to get in there in the first place," explained Sheridan.
"The skull is so thick and it would have taken a tremendous amount of force to actually push it through the skull itself, so it does look like there is a decent chance the knife is in the eye socket."
Despite the injury, the alligator was seen swimming in the lake without difficulty. Sheridan states that because alligators have such thick, large skulls, important structures like the brain were protected, which is how this animal is able to survive the injury.
Sheridan explains that alligators do not naturally see humans as prey, but says that "if they are not properly respected they are certainly capable of defending themselves."
There are currently no official updates that confirm how the knife became lodged in the alligators head.
"Humans can stay safe from alligators by making sure we give them their appropriate space, don't offer them food or try to approach them to take photos, and respect signs that warn against close encounters," advises Sheridan.