7-Foot Gator Makes El Dorado Appearance

MAY 30, 2006 - Posted at 3:16 p.m. CST

EL DORADO, AR - An El Dorado couple who own ten acres in the Parkers Chapel area found out they had an alligator in their pond when they threw an object into the water for their dog to retrieve.

Charles Hartsell at first thought the swishing in the water was a large carp.  But then he realized it was an alligator.  Hartsell called in his Labrador retreiver, which made it back safely.

Hartsell, who runs a pest control business with his wife, says the seven-foot reptile probably came from a nearby swamp.

Alligators are protected as a threatened species in Arkansas.  The state Game and Fish Commission has been conducting restoration programs that have increased alligators' numbers.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)