RICHMOND, TEXAS (ABC News) — A one-eyed alligator named after a character from the film “Happy Gilmore” now lives at a gator farm after it was captured on a golf course in Richmond, Texas, earlier this week.
Although Chubbs the gator was first spotted roaming the River Pointe Golf Club about three or four months ago, Christy Kroboth and Chris Stephens of the Houston-based “Gator Squad” were called in Wednesday to nab the 12-foot-long and roughly 600 pound reptile because he was being provoked by golfers. Kroboth said onlookers were getting far too comfortable with Chubbs.
“Golfers were extremely close to him even when we pulled up,” she said. “We had to yell at them and tell them to back off.”
Others did not take too kindly to Chubbs. Ruben Lopez, the general manager of the club, told ABC News seeing alligators on the green is common but some of the golfers were intimidated by the one-eyed reptile’s size after he started showing up on the green more frequently.
“It was time for this gator to go. They are not a pain, but when they get that big it’s scary,” said Lopez.
Prior to the alligator’s capture, Lopez said golfers were grabbing their clubs and inching closer to Chubbs. Kroboth said others were throwing golf balls at him. She and Stephens opted for a calmer approach by talking him down, keeping him calm and naming him.
Kroboth said Stephens nicknamed the giant “Chubbs” after the character Chubbs Peterson, played by Carl Weathers in the Adam Sandler golf film “Happy Gilmore.” In the movie, Peterson golfs with a prosthetic hand after a run in with an alligator.
Although Kroboth described Chubbs as a very relaxed reptile, when it was time to subdue him, the gator put up quite a fight.
“We were able to put a rope on him and played a bit of a game of tug-of-war,” said Kroboth. “Once we settled him down, we were able to put him in a tractor.”
Kroboth said she and Stephens were able to pull Chubbs out of a water bank with help from a golf cart, but the wheels got stuck. The Gator Squad member said Chubbs got lost during a recent flood that led him down the Brazos River. River Pointe Golf Club is located along the river. She said Chubbs is probably from the Brazos State Park, an area that is heavily populated with gators.
Pro Shop Attendant Mary Lopez, who called the Gator Squad, told ABC News 16 of the 18 holes at the club have water nearby.
“He mostly stuck around hole 17. Occasionally, we caught him at hole 8,” she sad. “It’s was like little playground. He could do whatever he wanted.”
The Gator Squad transported Chubbs to the Janik Alligator Farm in El Campo.
Kroboth said Chubbs could not be released back into the wild due to his poor eyesight. Instead, he will be cared for by professionals and participate in the farm’s breeding program.
“With my blind ones, I like to take them to a sanctuary,” she said. “They will be fed every day and taken care of for the rest of their lives.”
Kroboth suggested that golfers who spot gators in the future should resist feeding them and snap a photo instead.