Nearly 10-Foot-Long Alligator Found In Claremore Lake Euthanized By Game Wardens

Wednesday, May 11th 2022, 6:13 pm

CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -

Game wardens said they had to euthanize a nearly 10-foot-long alligator in Claremore Lake because it had become a danger.

People who live around the lake believe it's the same alligator that's lived in the lake for years.

Wildlife experts said they believe someone had released the alligator into the lake at some point, but they are not sure when.

People have posted videos and pictures of an alligator they say they spotted in Claremore lake.

“Never think a gator, but we kept shining our flashlights," Said Ashley Chapman. Ashley Chapman vividly remembers a night eight years ago.

She and her family were fishing in the Dog Creek area by Claremore Lake, and they heard something slide into the water over and over, all night long. The next day, she discovered it was a little gator.

"They ended up telling me a 2-foot alligator had been spotted that morning only 4 hours after we left," she said.

At that time, game wardens decided to leave it where it was. Ashley said ever since, people have spotted an alligator at various times all over the lake.

“We’ve had a decline in our geese and duck population at the lake," she said.

“We don't know where this alligator's from, that's one of the concerning things," said Micah Holmes.

Micah Holmes with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation said someone spotted the gator last week and called authorities.

Game wardens went to Claremore Lake and found it. They said it was 9 feet 6 inches long.

They used a firearm to euthanize it, and Holmes said that’s because it had become a danger to people. "Euthanizing animals is never our first choice," Holmes said.

Although there is no way of knowing if it was the same gator from 8 years ago, Chapman believes it is.

“When I got that call, I was, A, freaked out it had gotten that big, and B, I was like it was redemption. My story got proved right after 8 years," Chapman said.

“Our speculation is that a human put it there," Holmes said. Holmes said he doesn't think there are any more gators in Claremore Lake.

He said this is highly unusual to see in this area of our state, but some gators do live in the southeast part of Oklahoma.