Alligator trappers are back on East Lake Toho searching for a third night for the gator that attacked a 9-year-old early this week.
Byron Elsebough and his team of trappers hit the waters again Saturday in search for the 9-foot gator that attacked James Barney, Jr.
Barney said he was swimming off a lakefront point when the gator attacked him.
Now Elsebough is on the hunt for a gator that he said is a bit different.
“He does not have a fear of people. He has been playing with us just riding back and forth watching us. And keeping an eye on us as much as we are keeping an eye on him,” Elsebough explained.
With two bait hooks out to catch the gator and a team searching by boat, the trappers are doing everything they can to catch him.
They’ve gotten close to catching the gator twice but still haven’t been able to reel him in. And Elsebough told us that’s because this gator seems to be pretty used to people, which makes him even more dangerous.
Chris Williams had a close encounter with a gator just days before Barney was bit. He was swimming in the lake near the attack site with his children when he said a gator came towards him and even tried to intimidate him.
"[He] turned back around and came towards me, and he pulled his head out of the water and he bowed up. You could see all the yellow of his jaw and everything. He was trying to puff up and scare me out of the water,” said Williams.
Elsebough said the gator may be guarding a nest or a territory. Or it might even be used to people because someone might have fed it before, which he told us is never a good idea. Either way, this gator will be relocated when they catch him, of course.
Barney suffered minor injuries from the alligator attack. Officials said if they catch a gator, they will compare a tooth Barney had in him after the attack to a tooth from the gator they caught to make sure it’s the right one.