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See You Later, Alligator

Three-foot harmless gator missing from Jo Don Farms.

An alligator has gone missing in Caledonia.

Yes, an alligator.

Boots, an American alligator, went missing from , 5907 Nicholson Road, at about 9 a.m. July 27. The reptile escaped from his pen when the other alligator owned by the small zoo was being shown to kids.

"It's a freak accident," said Bob Meyer, the farm owner, who added that he has no clue how the animal escaped.

Boots is described as having a 2-foot body and a 1-foot tail. Farm hands searched for the alligator for about an hour before calling the police. They continued to search for Boots for about four hours that day. The animal was believed to be headed to the Root River.

Meyer said the gator is not dangerous and only eats dead mice. The alligator has been trained to be a display animal and is very calm around people, he explained.

"Bob also stated that he would hold the animal so kids could pet it and not have to tape the mouth," the police report said.

The farm received the animal from the DNR about four years ago after it was found in the Root River. 

Sandy August 09, 2012 at 04:24 AM
wow, since I don't live too far from there and have barn cats it would have been nice if we would have gotten some notice of this instead of having to accidentally hear it from someone days after the fact. It is not harmless, especially when it can't find the dead rats to eat. It's instincts have already kicked in and I wouldn't be surprised if it headed to the nature preserve right across the street from my house. It's a heck of a lot closer to him than crossing the railroad tracks and heading to the root river. can anyone say set traps??
Kathy Meyer August 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Sandy - Your barn cats are safe. They are bigger and faster than the gator. He also had access to our barn cats and didn't show any interest in eating them. You would be surprised at the number of gators released into the wild by owners that don't want them anymore and nobody knows about it. That's how we got Boots to begin with! Boots is about as harmless as an iguana being on the loose except he won't eat out your garden. He won't stay where there isn't plenty of water in which to swim and is most likely fishing in the river. There are really no humane traps with which to catch a gator and we could set thousands of them without catching him but possibly harming innocent wildlife or pets. It's pretty much like looking for a needle in a hay stack. We have followed up on every sighting near the river and our staff has been out on the river each evening trying to spot him.
Sandy August 10, 2012 at 03:50 PM
My biggest concern is when he gets hungry he won't be looking for dead mice but his instincts should kick in and he will snap at anything. There is a swamp and pond nearer than the river that I would be looking in if I were you guys. I don't know alot about gators but they must smell water to go find it? Have you checked the pond on the NW corner of 4 mile and Nicholson? There is also the swamp just a little west of that. I wouldn't rule out that. I know young man that brought Boots to you and he has spotted at least one other gator in the pond he fished Boots from so yeah, I am not surprised! With the rain we just had I am sure they are all quite happy. I am still going to keep a wary eye out and if I find him I can't guarantee his safety. I do watch Gator Boys ;)
Scorpio Maurus August 28, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I'm far more afraid of people who make such ignorant statements than I am of Boots. Honestly having had a 5 foot long iguana if I found Boots I'd bring him in and put him in our tub until authorities or whomever could arrive. Rather than contacting them first like they ask and having Boots already be long gone by the time they arrive. With all the rodents and small wildlife in those areas I can't even begin to imagine why anyone would think he'd actively go looking for cats. He has open access to tons of prey that is the proper size for him it would be highly unexpected for him to try and take down something his own size. Kathy is there any new word on Boots? I haven't heard anything on the news recently, I hope he makes it home safely :)
Sandy August 29, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I believe he is hiding out in the swamp across from my home, my neighbor said he believes he saw it the day it went missing. If you haven't found it yet Kathy, let me know and I can let you know where he saw it.

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