HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Russell Cavender, the founder and CEO of a wildlife removal service, and the snake chaser himself said this year, he's gotten more gator calls than ever.
"I've had maybe three times the DNR calls I normally get, and probably four or five times the calls from people in residential areas," he said.
Cavender is also pretty sure he knows why.
". . .There's absolutely no question that last year's floods in October, caused all these animals, that would normally be heading towards their hibernating grounds, to flood out of there," said Cavender.
"They literally woke up in the wrong spot," he added.
Cavender has been finding big gators, in the most unexpected places.
"I found an almost an 11-foot alligator in a pond in Tanger Outlet that was no bigger than this parking lot. About 400 pounds and I found an 11-footer in someone's front yard on 544. Two or three nine-footers in similar situations. And earlier this year there was one about eight foot, eight inches missing about a foot of her tail, at this lady's front door in Conway," he remembered.
That's only Cavender naming a few and heading into 2017, The Snake Chaser urges us all to be on the lookout for some of these new neighbors.
". . .If not more, because all of the alligators that I did not catch, are still displaced and they aren't going to be able to get back to where they normally would because the rain happened just about the same time as it did last year," he said.
Cavender's main goal is to find these alligators safe places to call home. If you see a gator where you know it shouldn't be, do not approach it or try to scare it off yourself, call DNR, or a removal service.