Lake Worth officials searching for blind alligator

The hunt is on for an alligator making its home in Lake Worth. And time is ticking to find the specific alligator with a unique trait.

About two weeks ago, Jon Fincher took video of an alligator bumping into his dock at Lake Worth. He and other lake residents are puzzled by the behavior.

About the same time, John Degroat snapped a few photos of what may be the same alligator.

"He goes down and then he comes right back up right there,” said Degroat.

 He also noticed something different about the alligator.

“He went down. Three ducks flew down. They swim across. We're like, ‘Oh no!’” Degroat said. “And he snapped and missed them.”

The Fort Worth Nature Center says it may be a blind alligator that was tagged during a study a few years ago.

"Gators have been here forever and we have lived alongside them,” said Rob Denkhaus with the nature center. “And they've stayed in hiding for the most part."

Some waterfront residents called city hall about the alligator that's been too close for comfort. Fort Worth then received an alligator nuisance certificate from the state, which gives them 10 days to find the alligator.

There is an active search going on for the alligator.

Denkhaus explained if the reptile is caught, “We would put him in one of the backwater areas away from public contact, hopefully in an area not subject to as much of the currents and the colder temperatures that come with flooding in case it starts raining again."

People are still taking advantage of the lake to cool off by taking a swim. But experts warn to take extra care around dusk and dawn.

Degroat says it won't keep him out of the water.

“I don't have kids or dogs,” he explained. “Neighbors do. They've been keeping them in, which they probably should. I'm not afraid, but it's like animal kingdom out here. I love it."

Because there hasn't been a sighting in two weeks there's hope the alligator has moved back home and out of sight.

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