An alligator swimming around with a large knife in its head is causing concern in a neighborhood outside of Houston.
According to KTRK, Orchard Lake Estates resident Erin Weaver spotted the gator in a lake by her home, and her photos of the injured animal subsequently went viral in the neighborhood social media groups.
“I saw him swimming and then I saw him turn, like swimming towards me, and I saw something sticking out of his head,” Weaver told the outlet. “It looked like a steak knife that was sticking out of his head. I don’t know if it was in his eye, but it looked, if it wasn’t in his eye it was very close to his eye.”
Weaver said she and her neighbors are used to seeing alligators in their lakeside community, and added that she’s lived in the neighborhood for six years without ever worrying about being hurt by one of the reptiles.
“Almost every morning I see them,” she said. “Never have I seen them aggressive or even defensive, if you walk by and startle them they just go under water.”
Now, Weaver and other residents in her neighborhood are trying to find help for the animal, and she says Texas’ Parks and Wildlife Department is expected to check out the gator next week.
“I feel that somebody did this on purpose,” Weaver explained. “I can’t imagine this animal going after somebody that they would have to defend themselves, because we’ve never had that happen before.”
Alligator researcher Frank Mazzotti told CNN that gators are incredibly resilient, and the thick bone on their skulls is most likely what stopped the knife from fatally harming this animal. However, Mazzotti said he couldn’t determine the extent of the damage from the available photos.