In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many Houston-area residents have returned home to unbelievable destruction. But at least one homeowner near Lake Houston, however, encountered a different kind of shocking, post-Harvey sight.

Deputies with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office responded Friday to an “intruder call” at a home on the northeast side of the metropolitan area.

“Upon arrival, deputies were met by a large alligator who made his way into this flooded home,” the constable’s office said in a Facebook post, along with a photo of the animal.

The alligator was pictured underneath a long wooden dining table, on top of what appeared to be a water-damaged rug. Random household items – a toppled plant, plastic storage bins, a refrigerator door shelf – lay jumbled nearby.

The Houston Chronicle estimated the animal was about 6 feet long. The alligator would be returned to its natural habitat “soon,” officials said.

It is unclear how the constable’s office planned to remove the alligator from the home – or which specific deputy found the wherewithal to stand still long enough to snap the close-up photo of the animal.


As jarring as the reptilian visitor may have been, similar sightings have cropped up across areas of Texas hit by Harvey. A woman in Missouri City, southwest of Houston, recorded two alligators swimming in her flooded back yard last week.

The extensive flooding has also yielded a flood of gators-on-the-loose stories in southeast Texas in recent days as Harvey, downgraded to a tropical storm, moved east toward the Louisiana border. Hundreds of gators at one farm had escaped, went one possibly true rumor; hundreds of gators were close to escape but hadn’t yet breached their pens, went the counternarrative.

Officials differed in their accounts, too.

In Beaumont, 95 miles west of Houston, a police officer in the animal services division said Thursday that hundreds of gators at the Gator Country adventure park were still in their pens. An Army staff sergeant at Ford Arena, an entertainment complex serving as a city staging ground for military rescues, said Friday that they most definitely were not.

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