Graham grabs a gator

Published 1:28 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Calera’s future leader made a scaly discovery Oct. 20, and is using the find to educate local residents, he said.

“Yes, I caught an alligator. In fact, I have him in my hands right now,” Graham said Oct. 21. “We have him in a box right now, and we are shipping him to the Alabama Reptile Rescue Sanctuary up on (U.S.) 280, so he’s in good hands.”

Graham captured the juvenile gator on his parents’ farm in Calera after one of his neighbors discovered the animal crossing a dirt road on the property.

“One of my parent’s neighbors, Tim Criswell, held him at bay with a broom until I could grab him,” Graham said. “We just want people to understand that these things are out there in this part of the state.”

Graham said the alligator measured 34 inches long, and was between 1 and 1 1/2 years old. The mayor-elect transported the reptile to Calera Elementary School Wednesday morning and showed the gator to his son’s gifted resource class.

“They got to view him this morning, as kind of an educational experience,” Graham said. “They were definitely excited to get to see him up close.”

Graham said he and his family members will be on the lookout for other gators near his parents’ farm in the future.

“We have a creek going around that property, and we have actually been seeing a gator living in a pond out there,” Graham said. “We found this one about a quarter-mile from that pond.

“We know for there to be a baby alligator, there has to be a mother somewhere,” Graham laughed. “So we will definitely be on the lookout for her.”