NEEDVILLE, Texas -- When most people hear there s an alligator nearby, they run. Chris Stevens goes fishing.
This one isn t in the attack mode, he s not coming out of the water. He s just shy enough to stay away from people, but he s living in the wrong spot, said Stevens.
Where he s living is a tiny pond in Maria Quintanilla s yard outside Needville, and we know he has come out, because the family is down one furry friend.
I think he got one of my dogs because we don t find the dog. I had a Chihuahua dog, said Mrs. Quintanilla.
Eager to protect the rest of the pack, she called in Stevens, an alligator nuisance control hunter.
Nobody wants an alligator in their back yard, said Stevens.
But it s becoming a more common problem, as housing developments crop up in what used to be alligator territory. He now has to rope gators in all kinds of places.
There s a big ditch or something over here, there s a ditch here, and when these things get water, the alligators can come right through the ditches, Stevens explained.
He was on his own Friday night, so KHOU 11 News reporter Alice Barr was drafted as a somewhat wary assistant.
The only thing I ll really need you to do is to keep the pole bent and tight on the gator, because I m going to be working the gator and pulling it over, said Stevens.
But try as we might and despite one close call when he came up for a moment, this gator was too wily. He sat in the deep water just out of reach. But Stevens was ready to chase him another day.
It looks crazy. It looks like why in the world would a person ever put himself in this position, but you talk about it like it s kind of no big deal, Barr asked.
Stevens answered, If you have the experience, you ve been trained, you ve been around it, it s not that it s not a big deal, it s just your approach to it.