April 15, 2016 | by Karley Nugent
Gator Escapes Cypress Lake… Again!

To read about the third alligator escape, click here.

Another alligator escaped yesterday from Cypress Lake and walked freely near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Student Union before it was captured and returned to the lake.

According to Courtney Begnaud, a UL grad student, the alligator escaped the lake around 4 p.m.

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Photo credit: Una Ha

“As I was walking down the hallway in the Union I happened to look outside and see the gator on the Union porch,” Begnaud said. “I immediately ran back to my office and told my supervisor, who contacted ULPD and the union director.”

Una Ha, a 19-year-old dietetics major who photographed the incident, said two UL Police officers arrived to address the situation.

“Someone called the police to come, and he struggled to get the alligator to move,” Ha said. “The alligator made a few attempts to get over the ledge, but couldn’t make it over.”

Using a catchpole, an officer caught the prehistoric predator. Once secured, the alligator struggled against capture before the officer walked it back to a lower part of the wall. He was able to guide it to climb the short height over the wall and slip back into the murky waters of its home.

Begnaud was able to film the police catching and releasing the rogue reptile.

The alligator’s escapade comes just 28 days after another alligator achieved the same feat.

Despite the past two occurrences of escaping alligators this semester and the potential danger these situations present, some students said they believe the alligators should remain on campus.

“I think we should keep them because these alligators make UL unique,” Ha said. “We should think about having a higher barricade to stop them from crawling on campus grounds, though.”

“Although alligators are dangerous animals, they should be allowed to stay on campus in the swamp,” Begnaud said. “They are a part of our culture here at UL, and I know many students and campus visitors would be sad to see them go. As long as people are cautious when one does escape, I don’t think they pose a threat to campus.”

Despite frequent requests for information, Ragin’ Wire was unable to obtain details from the university police.


My name is Karley Nugent. I'm a senior in journalism, and an aspiring photographer. Currently, I'm a photographer for the Vermilion. I'm passionate about the national parks (especially Yellowstone) and am an avid explorer and hiking addict. My main goal in life is to be either a photojournalist for National Geographic or the National Park Service (you know, assuming they have those).

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