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Alligator captured in Arkansas' Lake Hamilton

A small alligator has captured in Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs after first being seen several weeks ago. The owner says there are two more alligators on the loose.
Gator found in Lake Hamilton
Gator found in Lake Hamilton
HOT SPRINGS, AR - Saturday morning, Arkansas Game and Fish officials captured a four-foot alligator from Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs. At first, they thought someone released the gator into the lake once it grew too large to keep as a pet. However, today, it's true homeowner stepped forward.

"I'm sure its one of ours that they got and put in Lake Hamilton," said Jamie Bridges, whose family owns the Arkansas Alligator Farm.

Game and Fish Officials say the alligator they found in the Lake had been spotted for the past month, but they finally caught her this weekend.

Last month, someone broke into the Arkansas Alligator Farm. When the owners surveyed what may have been taken, they noticed two baby alligators were missing. But it wasn't until Tuesday after they heard about the alligator in the lake that they checked the larger animals in the outside pens. Turns out - one four-foot teenager was also gone.

"Anytime somebody steals something from you, you don't like it. But especially animals like this, they're probably not going to make it out there because what's somebody gonna do when they see an animal in Lake Hamilton? They're gonna kill it right off," said Bridges. "I just don't think people know how to handle them the right way. Them or somebody else is gonna get hurt."

He's right. Not everybody can "speak alligator" like workers do at the farm. And even the pros can't always control the gators.

"I got bit by an alligator three years ago. I got 36 stitches in my arm," said Bridges.

"Everybody who has ever worked here has been bit," added Stacy McBay, who feeds the gators for the public every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

"You ain't gonna outrun one of them in the water," said McBay.

The alligator has boaters docked on Lake Hamilton - talking about what a novelty it would have been to see. But just because it sounds smaller, doesn't mean it's not still dangerous.

Game and Fish released the gator down south into the Petit Jean alligator refuge but two baby alligators are still missing from the farm.

"I think they're still out there and since they were littler I think they may still have them somewhere," said a hopeful Bridges.

And it's only a matter of time until those two, missing baby alligators grow to be unmanageable.
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