Two attacks by “aggressive” alligators on row boats in the Houston, Texas, area have put the community on high alert.
One attack happened when rower Eugene Janssen accidentally hit a gator with an oar, Dee Connor, the president of the Greater Houston Rowing Club told The Post.
“An alligator just came up underneath him and chomped the side of the boat,” said Conners.
“It was pretty insane but he was able to stay in the boat [even] though [it] was sinking.”
After hearing a loud crunch Janssen raced to the shore and got his boat out of the area, only later discovering the huge bite which had punctured its side.
Connors said it was the first “aggressive” behavior by alligators her group had seen in 30 years of rowing in the Oyster Creek area.
The club hired an alligator trapper, who successfully wrangled a reptile into custody.
However, “within four days of the alligator being caught, we had another alligator attack,” said Connors.
Walter Pasciak said a five-foot-long alligator had struck the bottom of his boat and then bitten it when he had been out rowing one morning.
“I was lucky,” Pasciak told the Houston Chronicle. “Something like that can flip you off the boat, which can be a difficult experience when there’s an aggressive alligator in the water.”
The row club said it isn’t sure if there are two aggressive gators or if the wrong creature was captured the first time, and they have hired a second alligator trapper.
Various theories have been put forward including that the alligators’ habitat may have been disturbed, a young gator trying to protect its nest or them mistaking the vessels for food, but experts do not agree on what prompted the attacks.
Since the attacks, the rowers have taken some precautions, like rowing after dawn, but it hasn’t stopped anyone from going in the water.
“People are apprehensive, and we wish we could catch the aggressive alligator, but it hasn’t happened yet.”