BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – An alligator was killed after taking a nighttime stroll around the parking lot of a Corporate Boulevard restaurant on Monday night.
Mansurs On The Boulevard, an upscale Creole restaurant, confirmed that their restaurant was closed by the time the alligator showed up.
“I thought somebody was walking a dog and the cops got called on him, but it turns out it was an alligator,” said James Louislamy, a restaurant server.
Baton Rouge Police Department officers were called to the scene around 10:25 p.m. after the reptile was spotted. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries estimated that the alligator was 8 to 9 feet long.
“He seemed like he was big chillin’, minding his own business,” said Charles Taucher, who works at the restaurant.
According to LDWF, the alligator was removed and killed by a nuisance alligator hunter.
State Rep. Chad Brown, D-Plaquemine, introduced a resolution in this year’s legislative session requesting the state wildlife and fisheries agency to study and make recommendations about alligator markets, populations and hunting.
“When I brought my resolution to the legislature a couple of weeks ago, I had legislators from north Louisiana, central Louisiana saying that they’re seeing alligators in areas they have never seen them in the past,” said Brown.
Not everybody’s concerned about the growing alligator population. LDWF spokesperson Ed Pratt said the state has been working to keep a healthy amount of the iconic reptiles.
“They are a native species to Louisiana, and we work as we could to try to build those numbers back up when they were really bad,” said Pratt.
Brown said it’s not just an issue with humans interacting with alligators but commercial fishermen are seeing damage to their nets, traps and equipment. Alligator populations have grown so much that he said his neighbors see the scaly animal more frequently.
The wild alligator population in Louisiana has increased dramatically in the past 50 years, going from fewer than 100,000 to more than 2 million, according to LDWF’s website. That does not include a million alligators on farms.
Brown wants LDWF to modify the formula used to calculate the number of alligator tags issued so that more tags can be issued as populations grow and negatively affect commercial fishermen.
Click here for more about Louisiana alligators. People who spot an alligator in Baton Rouge can call 337-735-8672 to report it to wildlife agents.