Culture / Newsy

Hero Cowboy Catches Giant Dinosaur Alligator Blocking Traffic Near a Whataburger

Only in Texas

BY // 04.30.18

Rubberneckers received quite the surprise Monday morning on US 59 in Cleveland, Texas. The highway was blocked and one lane of traffic was shut down. But it wasn’t some grisly car accident. It was a hulking giant gator trying to cross the road.

How hulking? The alligator measures in at 11 and a half feet long.

In a stunning man-versus-nature team effort, the big gator was roped at the SH 105 intersection right near a Whataburger, Texas’ favorite fast food chain. Two Lone Star State classics for the price of one.

“Only in Texas will you get a Gator and a Whataburger in the same picture,”  cowboy Chance Ward jokes on Facebook. Ward, a Tarkington resident, was instrumental in safe takedown of the scaly, hissing, nearly 12-foot beast.

Who needs Crocodile Dundee when you’ve got a cowboy on US 59?

The cowboy earned admiration and headlines back in September for rescuing stranded livestock from Hurricane Harvey floodwaters. This time, Ward was tapped to capture the threatening reptile in the wee hours of the morning by the Cleveland Texas Police Department.

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The authorities had been notified about the alligator after reports of its run-in with an 18-wheeler. The gator, “a dinosaur we named George,” as Ward posts, had gotten clipped while trying to cross the traffic going southbound a little after midnight on Sunday.

With southbound traffic shut down, Cleveland’s animal control officer cowboy’d up to help Ward tie down the menacing traffic-stopper. Using lariat ropes from his truck, Ward started tying up the gator before handing the rope off to the animal control officer. The two pulled the gator in different directions and managed to tie his clawed feet behind him.

By George, they got him.

For this cowboy, it wasn’t a matter of dead or alive. It was important to Ward that the gator would be “relocated alive to a safe place out of harm’s way,” he writes on Facebook. After securing the beast, six men heaved it up to the flat bed of Ward’s truck.

Later, Sergeant Edwards worked with Ward to untie the gator in the stock trailer until it could be relocated by wildlife wranglers. The gator has been on Ward’s farm since 5 am.

“If you get a chance, thank our local law enforcement and firemen has they not only pull the criminals off the streets, they help keep the wildlife and livestock safe,” Ward writes.

Later, gator.

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