Gators becoming a problem for Carolina Forest neighborhood

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - One Carolina Forest neighborhood is starting to have a gator problem.

Residents of the Inverness subdivision of River Oaks have recently begun seeing alligators in the area.

Letters and emails sent out by the homeowners association indicated three gators have been spotted in the area.

They called Russel Cavender, known locally as The Snake Chaser, but he told them he can't remove the animals unless they get a permit from the Department of Natural Resources.

By getting such a permit, they would have to euthanize the gators. That's something neighbors don't want to see happen.

However, they do want the animals out of the area because it is a little scary to have them around.

"I was pretty alarmed. That was the first thing I asked, 'Look. What did you do? What did the alligator do?' Because if it's hungry, it may recognize a child as food," said resident Will Smith. "So that was a concern and still is a concern as we wait to see what is actually going to be done about the situation."

Some kids who live in the area say they've seen the gators as well.

"I was like, 'Holy cow, I didn't know there was alligators in here,'" 12-year-old Nico Bonilla said.

This subdivision has two ponds in it, but gators aren't a common sight. Smith said he's lived there 10 years, and he's never seen a gator in the subdivision.

The opinion most neighbors seem to have is the gators are a problem, but at the same time, they don't want to have them euthanized.

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