Shallotte lakefront property owners concerned about gator population


SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — People who live in a Shallotte community say their alligator population is getting out of control.

Ellen Gegick, who lives in a home on Copas Lake in Shallotte, said her and her neighbors are worried.

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“On any given day there could be 8 to 9 alligators out in the yard,” said Gegick.

That’s how she describes her backyard most days. WWAY went out to her home and we saw alligators taking a dip in the lake and then basking in the sun at the edge of her land.

“We love them, we tend to give them little names, and they are interesting and we’ve been researching them and things like that,” said Gegick.

But in recent years that interest in her reptilian neighbors has grown into concern.

“It’s recently became a concern because of the over population of them,” said Gegick.

She said over the last four years she has noticed more alligators in the area, she said she thinks there’s probably about 30 in the lake and she said she is worried the gators are eating up or scaring off all the other wildlife.

“That’s been our biggest concern lately is we are seeing a lot less turtles, and fish jumping. We see less birds. I haven’t seen a snake, not that I am complaining, I think it’s affecting the whole balance,” said Gegick.

A balance Gegick said could be restored with just a few less gators.

“I would love to see even a third of them relocated,” said Gegick.

She said she has gone to wildlife experts to ask about relocation.

Tom Padgett, a wildlife biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife commission said gators are only relocated if they are a direct threat to people or animals or if the gator is disrupting traffic. Gegick said Padgett plans on going out there Friday to check out the situation. She said another big issue they are having is people are feeding the gators so they are becoming more comfortable with people. Padgett advises people not to feed any gators.