OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A video from a local viewer has led KFOR on a mission to solve a mystery in the water of Lake Hefner.
Well tonight, we’re getting some answers.
Lake Hefner is known for its lighthouse, gusty winds and rough waters – but not typically what lies beneath the water line – or in this case, along it.
“I swear that is an alligator – what is that? It’s above, it’s just the head and it’s going across. I’m not kidding you,” a viewer said in a video submitted to KFOR.
Could it be – an alligator in Lake Hefner?
That’s not a report we hear every day, or one the Wildlife Department hears very often for that matter.
“So seeing an alligator in Lake Hefner would really be something very unusual,” said Communication and Education Specialist Don P. Brown with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife. “From the video, it looks to be what we see here is a beaver – a North American Beaver – really pretty common. It’s actually a rodent. They live around the water, usually creeks and streams.”
Now another question remains – where might you see an alligator in Oklahoma?
“Alligators are not common sights anywhere in Oklahoma except the very tip of the southeast corner of the state – down even south of Broken Bow,” Brown said.
He says families should of course remain aware of their surroundings, but know – gators aren’t out looking for you, it’s really the other way around.
“Usually you have to go looking for one to spot one,” said Brown. “They typically tend to be back in the swampy areas, down there, down by the river in very inaccessible locations.”
Brown says no matter if you see a snake, beaver or even a gator, more times than not, you’ll likely be ok.
“If you can watch them from a distance and leave them alone, they’ll usually leave you alone,” he said.
Brown says most alligators found in central Oklahoma are former pets who have been set free.