No more mystery with this gator

This alligator shown in a photo taken by a Pauls Valley police officer is the same animal seen by a couple of fishermen several weeks ago at Longmire Lake. A few days after the gator was spotted it was caught by a wildlife official and removed from the local lake.

The saga of the displaced alligator swimming around in a Pauls Valley city lake now appears to have come to an end.

As it turns out the small gator seen weeks ago by two fishermen at Longmire Lake has already been safely removed by a state wildlife game warden.

That's the word of Derrick Jolley, who is not only Pauls Valley's assistant police chief but one of those city employees actively involved in the ongoing work to maintain the two local lakes.

“A fisherman actually called the game warden to report seeing the alligator,” Jolley said adding the notification came back on April 25.

“I literally happened to be at Longmire when I got the call. I actually got eyes on (the alligator) that same day. I got eyes on it and made arrangements to have it removed.”

Jolley said he was on the bank near the lake's dam on the south side when he saw the gator about 10 to 15 yards away out in the water.

“It was relatively calm and right at three feet long. It didn't really pose a significant threat to anybody.

“The wildlife department agreed to trap it and get it out of there. I'm confident that it was same alligator that those fishermen saw.”

Those fishermen, Jerrall “Pops” Caldwell and his son-in-law Bobby Delaplain, were the ones who spotted the gator and even got a photo. That came back on May 17.

According to Jolley, wildlife officials in the region safely removed the gator days later on May 26.

His belief is the alligator likely got in the lake in the place by being released into the water there by someone on the human side.

“I had the report of an alligator in that lake last year,” Jolley said.

“We investigated that, got in boats and spent time out there trying to locate it, but it was never confirmed that an alligator was actually in the lake.

“This recent report is the first time we've been able to confirm that there was alligator out there.”

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