By Michael Sudhalter
The 13-foot, 900-pound alligator that visited the Home Depot parking lot in Sugar Land earlier this month garnered international headlines.
Lifelong Stafford resident and Houston Community College student Christy Kroboth was one of the individuals responsible for securing the aptly named “Godzilla” and relocating him to an alligator farm in El Campo.
“We like to save as many of them as we can,” said Kroboth, a state licensed alligator trapper who said Godzilla was the largest alligator she’d trapped.
It took five trappers and six police officers four hours to successfully trap Godzilla, and once they did, Home Depot employees had to use a forklift to move him in a truck.
Kroboth, 30, said she still “gets scared” when called out to an alligator trapping, but that’s just so she won’t get overconfident about the situation.
“I take a step back and think of the situation,” said Kroboth, who graduated from Stafford High. “I see the animal, see what it’s doing and come up with a strategy.”
Kroboth said it’s important to try and wear the alligator out, and when safe, secure it’s mouth and tape it safely.
Only licensed alligator trappers and law enforcement officers are legally allowed to trap alligators. Alligators are a protected species, so others who trap may incur a fine.
Kroboth is a lifelong animal lover.
“I remember when my mom would pull the car over and help animals cross the road,” Kroboth said.
She became interested in alligators over the years and wanted to change the public’s perception about them.
“I knew they had a bad rap – I wanted to be the voice for them,” Kroboth said. “Alligators are good animals, and they’re a big part of the ecosystem. They eat rats, mice, snakes and nutria. If you mess with them, of course they’ll defend themselves. But they know land is for people, and water is for alligators.”
Kroboth said Godzilla came from Oyster Creek – behind the Home Depot – and may have been tired of swimming. He’s also a blind alligator who may not know where he was.
The presence of alligators signifies a good ecosystem, since they only go near clean water.
There’s been an increase in alligator sightings in populated areas.
That could be attributed to the growth of communities with ponds and lakes, the proximity to the Brazos River and the fact that alligators can lay nests of up to 60 eggs.