As if Texans haven’t got enough on their hands with the ongoing flooding and rain from Hurricane Harvey, southeast Texas has got one more big worry on their hands. Alligators – lots and lots of alligators – who are currently housed in a Beaumont sanctuary, but could soon be free.

Water almost topping the alligator sanctuary's fences

Gator Country is owned and run by Gary Saurage and is home to more than 350 alligators, along with venomous snakes and other non-native species like crocodiles. As reported by the Times-Picayune, the water keeps rising on the 15-acre property and the rain keeps on coming, there is a danger of the flood topping the fences of the animal preserve, letting the residents loose into the community.

According to a report by KFDM, none had escaped by Monday night. However, it is hard work trying to resolve the dangerous situation.

Gator Country staff working round the clock

Saurage said in an interview on Monday that they are working around the clock, but that he doesn’t know what else to do. He said they are “truly tired” and that everyone is at the “end of it.” According to the Gator Country website, Saurage has been operating the sanctuary for 12 years but he has ever experienced such intense flooding before. As at Monday, Saurage said they were less than a foot from the water going over their fences, stressing that they are “certified, high fences.” However, the way the rain keeps on coming, the water “won’t quit.” Saurage added that the staying power of the storm is “incredible” and “unbelievable.”

However, it’s not just the alligators already in the sanctuary that are causing worry, as the sanctuary is getting plenty of calls about alligator sightings in the region which have also been able to get out of their natural habitats and are getting close to people’s homes and inhabited areas.

Saurage said normally if they receive a call about an alligator sighting, he or his staff go and capture it. However, as noted on their website, with so many calls coming in right now, there is no way they can respond to them all. He says he has to focus on the alligators that are already there.

Fortunately, however, the surrounding community doesn’t have to worry about the two largest alligators, named “Big Tex” and “Big Al” as they have been securely placed in trailers while the storm continues.

Saurage said they have also captured the non-native species in the animal sanctuary, taking them up to safety on higher ground. However there is still the worry of hundreds of alligators, currently still in the fenced enclosure, but with more inches of rain expected.

Residents warned to let alligators be

Fortunately, it is relatively normal for residents in southeast Texas to come across alligators, particularly during bad storms.

However, in the current flood conditions, authorities in Texas are advising the public to expect alligators to be displaced, telling them to just leave them alone until the water recedes.

The video below was taken by a woman in Texas, who had two alligators swimming in her flooded backyard.