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Gator moves into busy apartment complex lake


Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Gator moves into busy apartment complex lake

By Kelli Stegeman. CREATED Aug 7, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Some Fort Myers residents are watching where they step after a new tenant moves in to a busy apartment complex.  
They say a gator has made itself at home and now they're worried about their kids and pets.  
They want to know why the complex hadn't put up signs warning residents of the visitor.
Four in Your Corner found out what's being done to protect the residents at the Promenade at Reflection Lakes apartments. 
As the name suggests, water surrounds the grounds and Floridians know all too well those alligators also love the water views. 
Residents reached out to FOX 4 looking for answers.
"We call him Flipper," said Dick Blaine, as he introduced the ducks at the apartment complex that know Blaine well. Blaine is a resident that has been keeping an eye on the gator since this weekend. 
"Those are my buddies," he said. "Those are my pets."
Blaine is now worried about their safety because of a new resident at the apartment complex, an alligator. 
"I saw it's eyeballs," he said as he showed the area he sees the alligator most days near his apartment. "I went down and I threw a rock at him and he was very aggressive."
Aggressive and apparently elusive as he stayed hidden during our the time FOX 4's camera was rolling at the complex. Even though our camera couldn't find him, Blaine knows he's in there. 
He and other residents are concerned about what it may mean for them and their pets, whether they are duck or dogs.
"Usually when something like this happens, they'll post notices up at the office and put a personal notice at each door that we have an aggressive alligator," said Blaine about the property managers.
Viewers contacted FOX 4 after what seemed like days of inaction by wildlife officials and the apartment complex when it came to notifying residents.
FOX 4 went to try to find answers.
The assistant manager off camera says they are concerned and are trying to get the alligator off the property but says it's not large enough for FWC to remove.  
As for alerting residents, those fliers went up Wedensday afternoon near the mailboxes. Residents hoping the only delivery to the apartment is that mail and not a hungry gator.
"Just come get him," urged Blaine. 
As of now Wednesday afternoon, the apartment complex managers said they have only had contact with FWC. 
An FWC spokesman tells me that at apartments with problem alligators, the property owner must call the SNAP Hotline. SNAP stands for Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program.  
Apartment managers are now going to give the hotline a try in hopes the problem will soon be gone.