A Texas woman says she recently witnessed an alligator with what appeared to be some kind of knife stuck in its head swimming in a local lake, a situation she says she believes may have been a purposeful act.
The gator was reportedly spotted by at least two witnesses inside Orchard Lake Estates in Sugar Land, Texas this week. Erin Weaver, the woman who captured a picture of the gator with the protruding knife in its head, told NBC-affiliate KPRC that she saw the gator near some rocks early Thursday during a morning walk.
“He kind of turned and came right towards me, and he swam right over here along the rocks here, and he sat there. And it was actually a knife—it looked like a steak knife—sticking out of his head,” she said. In the pictures, the knife appears to potentially be lodged near the reptile’s eye.
According to KPRC, another individual had also seen the reptile the day before and shared an image to social media. The incident has drawn condemnation from the community’s residents who spoke with the station.
Weaver told multiple outlets that the area’s alligators are a regular fixture of her morning walks but were generally of little concern prior to this recent incident. Speaking with ABC-affiliate KTRK, Weaver said she believes someone “did this on purpose.”
“I want to get help for this alligator. I don’t want to see an alligator swimming around with a knife in his head and suffering,” Weaver said.
Callie Saurage of Gator Country, a park and rescue outfit that could potentially intervene, told USA Today that it needs express permission from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to step in. A spokesperson for the department did not immediately return a request for comment about the situation.
Update 6/14/19 10:40 p.m. ET: In a statement to Gizmodo, a spokesperson for Gator Country said the organization is not involved with the situation.
“Gator Country is not involved and has not been contacted by TPWD for assistance,” the spokesperson said by email. “A permitted nuisance alligator trapper has been issued a capture permit by the department and is taking steps to locate the injured gator.”