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High water leading to close encounters with wildlife near Mississippi River

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PLAQUEMINE - High water is causing some dangerous encounters on the west side of the Mississippi River, where alligators are being found in yards and in driveways.

Cell phone video shows a five-foot alligator tucked under a family's truck in Plaquemine. They called the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office, which had to bring in reinforcements to wrangle the reptile. 

Lakeisha Rome says she was inside her home when her neighbors noticed the gator.

"We all were in the home, and my neighbor's son across the street told her we had an alligator under my brother's truck," she said.

Reverend Lionel Johnson lives across the street. He says he noticed the gator two weeks ago lurking under his home too. 

"The same alligator been up under my house and broke about three or four of my pipes," Johnson said.

Gator sightings are uncommon for neighbors in the area, but experts say the rising waters and warmer temperatures are pushing them out of their habitat.

"This is the time of the year where alligator complaints start to rise," said Jeb Linscombe, with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

This encounter's not the first and won't be the last, Linscombe said. He added that these run-ins serve as a reminder of where we live and to be smart.

"Be aware of your surroundings, and pay attention. If there's an alligator, keep a safe distance and do not harass the animal," Linscombe advised.

Just last Saturday, sheriff's deputies say a 9-foot alligator was captured at another Plaquemine home. 

Authorities say if you see an alligator lurking near your home, call the experts to have it safely removed.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries encourages people to go to this website to get the information you need if you spot an alligator

 

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