Fisherman nets alligator in a St. Charles pond

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) – It’s no fish tale. Walter Bushmann really did catch an alligator while fishing in a St. Charles pond Monday. He also saw two other gators in the water.

“I was super surprised,” said Bushman. “I probably jumped back a foot.”

The pond is tucked away behind the Summit Subdivision. The Missouri Department of Conservation confirms Bushmann did catch an alligator, and estimates it was about a foot and a half long. Bushmann says one of the other gators in the water was about a foot longer than the one he caught.

The Department of Conservation did not find the other two gators Bushmann says he saw. The agency suspects the alligator Bushmann caught was a pet someone dumped in the pond.

Bushmann contacted the Department of Conservation because he had concerns for the safety of others.

“Let’s say a 7 or 8-year-old latched on to one of them and pulled it out of the water, and thought it was cute and got bit,” said Bushmann.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says there is no serious danger other than the threat of someone receiving a bite that could draw some blood. Alligators cannot survive a Missouri winter, so even if there are other gators in the pond, they won’t be around long enough to become a serious threat.

Even with those reassurances, neighbors have concerns.

“I need to know what’s going on,” said Summit subdivision resident Paul Rudberg. “My boys go down there quite often.”

Rudberg hopes someone will be able to find out how the gators got into the pond.

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For more information, click on alligators.

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Email: jeffrey.bernthal@tvstl.com

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