Second gator rises from Pennypack

Sunning on a sandbar, it was captured a mile from where one was found last week. More?

Posted: June 26, 2007

For the second time in less than a week, Buddy and Holly Mullen hosted a positively reptilian overnight guest in their Warminster basement:

A three-foot alligator, which Buddy Mullen helped capture Sunday afternoon in Pennypack Creek, in Upper Moreland Township's Masons Mill Park.

The gator is not to be confused with the nearly five-footer that Mullen helped bag Thursday in Pennypack Creek, less than a mile downstream in Bryn Athyn. That gator was taken to the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown.

Mullen, Warminster Township's public-works director, said he believed that both gators were "dumped" by the same pet owner, who had tired of them.

The gator caught Sunday was to be driven today to Lake Tobias Wildlife Park in Halifax, about a half-hour's drive north of Harrisburg, Mullen said. It was "chilling" last night in one of the couple's three bathtubs - the one in the basement with the blue Little Mermaid shower curtain, he said.

Mullen, Warminster animal-control officer Craig Claycomb, and Upper Moreland animal-control officer Shawn Tarman spotted the gator Sunday as it sunned on a sandbar. Mullen said that as Claycomb and Tarman approached, it leaped into Mullen's waiting net.

Mullen said he hoped that warning signs would be posted in Masons Mill Park, near Byberry and Pioneer Roads.

The park is popular among creek waders and dog walkers. "Somebody throws a stick in the creek for his dog [to fetch], or kids could be in there barefoot," he said. "It could be bad."

Mullen added that he did not know if more gators remained in the creek.

Upper Moreland police did not respond to a request for comment last night.


Contact staff writer Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or mklein@phillynews.com.

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