Baby gator found by fisherman in McKeller Lake - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Baby gator found by fisherman in McKeller Lake

A family on a fishing outing caught more than they bargained for on a Memphis lake.

Tennessee Wildlife said three adult alligators were confirmed living in McKellar Lake last year. And where there's a adults there are likely to be babies.

Horris Carpenter saw the baby late Sunday as he and a group of friends were fishing.

"We heard rumors there were sightings of gators out on McKellar Lake. I thought it was just rumor, fishermans tale," said Carpenter.

Speaking of tail, this one's got a long one. It can be intimidating.

That intimidation soon subsided and Carpenter got a little gator gumption.

Carpenter added, "it came up to the top of the water and was floating. I took a croppie pole and put the minnow in-front of it and it actually bit."

And it's got the teeth to do it and to defend itself if necessary.

According to Tennessee Wildlife, gators are not unheard of here. On average they lay 40 to 45 eggs each year with them hatching in late July or August.

That means where there's a baby, there's likely a mamma.

"I was just nervous. I was scared that the momma may come so I told them lets load up and get out of here as fast as possible," said Carpenter.

Now, that he knows for sure there are gators gazing at him from the shore and water, Carpenter said he'll be a little more careful on and around the lake.

Some states no longer protect alligators but Tennessee does so you are not allowed to hunt them or pick them up and definitely don't take it home with you.

It turns out that alligators are bad for business.

The owner of the McKellar Marina says he saw an 80 percent decline in business last year after media reports about the alligators.

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