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Love Gets Gator's Neck in a Noose

February 28, 1987|United Press International

ORLANDO, Fla. — A trapper barking the love call of the lady alligator in the city's underground drainage system lured Orlando's seven-foot "sewergator" into a noose Friday.

The alligator thrashed around in the noose, chewing on the rope, but trapper John Tanner subdued him, wrapped his jaws with orange electrical tape and dragged him a quarter of a mile to daylight.

Tanner, 45, later set the 100-pound gator free near the St. Johns River off Interstate 95, about 36 miles east of Orlando.

The trapper said a radio station called on listeners to contribute funds to pay for his time so the gator could be released.

Tanner had been stalking the bull gator, which he estimated to be 8 years old, since Monday, when it frightened several city workers from the six-foot-high concrete pipes during an inspection of the system.

"I gave him the mating call," a series of raspy barks, "and he came right up to me and I slipped a noose around his neck," Tanner said.

Alligators that inhabit the numerous lakes in the Orlando area are known to crawl into the drain pipes for shelter during chilly winter months.

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