Alligator hunting on Goose Lake with the man who wants to beat the DNR to the second gator. Photo by Tim Blotz / FOX 9 News.
Sign welcoming visitors to Goose Lake near Scandia, Minn. Photo by Tim Blotz / FOX 9 News
SCANDIA, Minn. (KMSP) -
A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources warden shot and killed an alligator on Goose Lake near Scandia, Minn., on Monday, and the man who says the animal was his pet is out on the hunt for another.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office learned someone released two small alligators, each about 40 inches long, into Goose Lake earlier this week. Deputies notified residents in the area and have been actively searching for the gators since.
Will St. Sauver told FOX 9 he's the owner of the alligators, named Bonnie and Clyde. He claims someone stole his gators and released them into the lake. Now, St. Sauver is trying to catch Bonnie before she winds up as dead as Clyde at the hands of the DNR.
"They just shot one. I still got one," St. Sauver hoped aloud.
While he may look like a cable TV show in search of a plot, he's dedicated to searching for his gator.
"His eyes are about that far apart and his head is only that long -- and it's all you're going to see," he told FOX 9 News.
Both Bonnie and Clyde have spent most of their lives in a tank on St. Sauver's farm. How the two made it to Goose Lake for a swim is still in dispute, but St. Sauver has his suspicions.
"Somebody took them out. There's no way they got out," he said.
St. Sauver believes Clyde was the gator the DNR got on Monday, and he said he nearly caught Bonnie on Wednesday night.
"I tried scooping him with the net and he turned out," he explained. "I went to turn around and scoop him again and then the same thing happened. Then, I went with two nets and that didn't work."
The gator eventually got fed up with the attempts.
"He got sick of me chasing him," St. Sauver said.
So, it was back to the boat on Thursday.
"I think he'd be up sunning himself right now," St. Sauver mused.
For a moment, St. Sauver thought he had finally cornered the elusive animal while following sudden movement he saw in the cat tails.
"There he i--aw, no. That's just a fish," he lamented.
It turns out the fish on Goose Lake weren't biting much on Thursday either.
"Saw a bald eagle and had a snapping turtle on the line -- about 15 pounds, but no alligator," fisherman Frank Boehm told FOX 9.
St. Sauver knows he has a lot of looking to do, but he's not giving up.
"Honestly, during the day, it's going to be slim pickins because I was out here a long time yesterday and I didn't see nothin'," he admitted. "I'll find him for sure by tonight. I'll have him in custody."
A DNR spokesman told FOX 9 wardens began looking for the gators after receiving an unconfirmed report from two boys fishing on Goose Lake who claim one of the gators was after their bait. If they find the second, it is likely they will shoot it.
Even if they do, the city attorney is looking into possible charges or citations over violating the city's exotic species law.