March 24 2011 - In Lynnwood yesterday a 4 year old girl was killed by an alligator owned by next door neighbor Kelvin Godwin, 51. The alligator broke through a side door and attacked the girl as she was playing in the living room. The owner was fined $50 for failure to provide proof of vaccination, and the alligator was taken by animal control officers to a holding facility where it will be tested for rabies and observed for signs of aggressive behavior.
If the alligator is deemed dangerous, the owner will have to agree to keep it properly restrained in the future. Godwin, owner of the alligator, said "I don't know what happened. I had him tied up just like I was supposed to. I always keep him tied up. I guess he must have gotten loose somehow." Several neighbors, however, anonymously complained that the alligator had often been seen running loose, and is believed to be responsible for the killing of several neighborhood pets.
Adrian Phillips, director of the local animal shelter, offered condolences, saying "This is an unfortunate accident, but keep in mind that alligators are no more likely to bite than any other reptile. Alligators can in fact make very good pets".
Dr June Berkeley, renowned animal behavior expert, added "The important thing here is to keep things in perspective. The worst thing we could do is to start running around saying that alligators are dangerous. The fact is that all reptiles can bite, and alligator bites are relatively rare. On the other hand I've seen a lot of children bitten by geckos, and in my mind that is the real danger."
After reading the above, my first thought was "who are these pod people? where did they come from? has the whole friggen world gone crazy?" and my second thought was "this can't be real". Joe also sent me the reader comments on the article and there are some real head scratchers...
Dr Jim said:
This guy's alligator kills a kid, and these talking heads babble about what great pets they are? Alligators should be banned from inhabited areas. what the hell is wrong with these people?Rage said:
You can't ban alligators, that's racist! Why not just ban all black people while you're at it? Species specific laws just don't work, that's already been proven.Gator Dude said:
Something doesn't add up here. It's just not making any sense. Alligators don't just suddenly attack for no reason. What's the real story here?Concerned Citizen said:
Why the hell are we tolerating dangerous creatures like this? This has got to be criminal negligence. The alligator should be dead and the guy should be in jail! and what the hell is up with these gator nuts? Don't they realize a little girl was killed?LuvMyGator said:
You all are so quick to judge, aren't you? For all we know the girl provoked the attack. Where were the girl's parents by the way, and why was she left unsupervised?Timmys Mom said:
It's all in how you raise them, "concerned citizen". I've had an alligator for 4 years and he's never hurt a fly, Timmy is the most gentle creature you ever seen. You should come over and meet Timmy and spend some time with him and I guarantee he'll change your mind about alligators.A child burned said:
After I saw what the alligators did to my cousins cows at the river, I don't think they should be allowed anywhere near populated areas. Timmy's Mom, I think you're nuts, and I hope to God you don't have any kids.Gatorz4ever said:
Why do you people always have to be hating on these misunderstood creatures. Don't you have anything better to do? I'm sick of all this hating. The alligator was probably just hungry, you can't blame him! It's not the alligator's fault, the owner should of kept him in his yard!The expert said:
LOL @ The haters! Latest studies prove that chameleons are much more likely to bite than alligators. Did you know that alligators score higher on the RTTS than frogs? Not so smug now, are you?
The expert said:
Oh here's another news flash: alligators DON'T HAVE LOCKING JAWS. That's a complete myth. I'll Bet I just rocked your world. So tell me, why don't you focus on the real problems and quit sticking your nose where it doesn't belong?
After reading all of this I began to suspect that old Joe must be playing a practical joke on me. In fact I'm sure of it now. I mean, the whole thing is just so bizarre - it reminds me of what happens whenever a news site reports on a pit bull attack!