By TOM WOERNER
Of The Record Staff
A second resident has come forward saying they have seen an alligator lurking in the Angier Lake increasing the growing legend about one of the most popular recreation areas in the county.
Chuck Jones and a walking partner make their way around the pond nearly every day near dawn if the weather permits.
Last week, on the southwest end of the lake, Mr. Jones said he saw what he described as a 6- to 8-foot alligator. Like in previous reports, Mr. Jones said he has no doubt about what he saw.
“It was swimming and it looked like an alligator,” Mr. Jones said.
He said he does not believe he saw a turtle, which is what some have speculated.
“There are dozens of turtles there and I have never seen one with spikes on his back like this one had,” Mr. Jones said.
See Alligator, Page 3
Angier Park officials do not believe there is an alligator in Angier Lake, the fountain of which is shown above.
Daily Record Submitted Photo Alligator
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He also said there is another indicator.
“I think the duck population is dwindling,” Mr. Jones said. “There are less ducks than there used to be.
“It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if someone bought a pet in Florida and brought it up here and released it when it got too big,” Mr. Jones.
Mr. Jones is the second person who says they saw an alligator in the pond. A woman last week described seeing an alligator approximately the same size as the one described by Mr. Jones.
Angier Parks and Recreation officials, who work in the park nearly every day, have said they have not seen signs of the alligator in the pond. They suggest it might be a turtle.
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Officer Michael Varano said he would be surprised if there was an alligator in Angier.
“Unless someone released one, the travel for an alligator to get there would be unique,” Mr. Varano said. “I am not saying it is not possible, but it would be rare.”
It is not uncommon for alligators to be spotted here. Mr. Verano said sightings in Harnett County would be more likely in areas near the Cape Fear River. The animals have been known to navigate the river from areas in the eastern part of North Carolina. Several years ago an alligator was captured on N.C. 87 and was transported to a more native habitat Down East.
The North Carolina Wildlife Commission has launched a new program to help determine where the reptiles are located.
Anyone, whether a resident or visitor, who spots an alligator in the wild in North Carolina is asked to upload and share their photos on the project titled “N.C. Alligators,” which launched recently on the free online platform iNaturalist. Citizens who see an alligator can upload their photos via a computer at iNaturalist.org or they can download the free iNaturalist app, which is available for iPhone and Android.