A new crew of wranglers has rolled into town, intent on nabbing the 7-foot alligator that has been lurking in Harbor City's Lake Machado.
But the result Tuesday remained the same: The alligator was still on the loose.
The hunt resumed late Monday after the four-man team flew in from Florida and offered to do the job for free, with expenses such as travel and lodging paid by the city.
"We're not going anywhere till we got a gator on us," said Tim Williams, head of the crew and the self-described "dean of gator wrestling." "It's going to be fun."
Williams, along with two handlers and a cameraman, arrived from Gatorland, a 110-acre reptile theme park and wildlife preserve in Orlando, Fla. The crew replaces Colorado reptile wrestlers Jay Young and Paul Wertz, who tried for two days last week to catch the creature.
Officials are hoping that Williams and his Florida "A-team" will have more luck and that life at Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park can soon return to normal.
"My goal is to as quickly as possible catch him safely and alive," said Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn, whose district includes the park. "I need to return the shoreline back to the people."
Once the gator is captured, it will be taken to the Los Angeles Zoo, where it will be quarantined for 90 days. Officials then plan to find it a suitable home, possibly the zoo.
Or possibly at Gatorland, where the critter, dubbed "Harbor Park Harry," would fit nicely among the more than 1,000 crocodiles and alligators that live at the theme park, said Williams, 56, who has been handling gators for 30 years and estimates that he has wrestled more than 5,000 of them.
"The deal right now is, if we can catch him he goes to the L.A. Zoo, but if they determine they can't find a home for him, we'll take him," he said. "We want everyone to come see him live and in person."
But some officials say Harbor Park Harry's home is here. The gator has become a local celebrity since it was first sighted Aug. 12, drawing dozens of people to the park daily. It is unclear how the alligator came to the lake, but park officials believe that it is a pet that was dumped after it got too big to handle.
"This is an L.A. gator," Hahn said jokingly. "They've got a lot of gators in Florida. He's ours."
By midmorning Tuesday, the crew had taken two trips on the lake in a pontoon boat, searching for the creature at the lake's edges where they figured it might be hiding in the vegetation.
Williams and his crew hope to lure the gator to the lake's shallow water with bread and tortilla shells, as well as use a gator grunt call that sounds like a bellowing, gulping noise. The odds of catching Harry are best after sunset, Williams said, when the gator is more likely to surface.
"I think he's had some pressure on him, so he's leery," he said.
Many, such as Kevin Regan, assistant general manager of the city's Department of Recreation and Parks, are optimistic that the Florida A-Team can catch the alligator.
"The new group seems really well-organized and they seem knowledgeable," he said. "We have high hopes. We have to catch it."
On Tuesday, spectators camped out with lawn chairs, cameras and takeout food. Ten-year-old Brandon Ray of Harbor Village was visiting for the third time. This time he brought his father, Gregory.
Though Brandon was sure that the crew would catch the gator, he expressed some disappointment at the gator's size: "The man had said it was 20 feet long, but when I saw it, I thought it was a baby."