Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

An alligator was found in Kentucky Lake this weekend

Photo via Rob Terrell/WPSD Local 6.

Photo via Rob Terrell/WPSD Local 6.

Memorial Day Weekend is one of the biggest boating weekends of the year, and boaters and swimmers at Kentucky Lake got quite a shock on Saturday when a three-foot alligator was found near the paddleboat area of Kentucky Dam Marina. According to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officials, the alligator was likely injured by a boat propeller and was able to crawl out of the water but died before they arrived on the scene.

PHOTO: Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (via West Kentucky Star)

Officials believe the alligator was dumped at the lake by someone who kept it as a pet. Kentucky law forbids the transportation of alligators, who are not native to the state and cannot survive in water colder than 40 degrees. According to WBKO, in January 2018, an alligator was found dead in the Cumberland River in Harlan County, and in 2015, a three-foot gator was found living in Skaggs Creek near Barren River Lake.

After watching “Tiger King,” I shouldn’t be surprised that people keep wild animals like alligators as pets, but dumping one in a lake knowing it can’t survive is downright cruel.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

7 Comments for An alligator was found in Kentucky Lake this weekend

  1. terwilliger
    3:12 pm May 25, 2020 Permalink

    The idiot who put this in the lake probably thought he was doing the animal a favor. People who purchase exotic animals as pets make the rest of us rednecks look bad. Nobody needs to own an alligator, or a reticulated python, or a freaking tiger. And any arsehole selling these things needs to be put out of business on ethical grounds.

    • Cletis75
      3:26 pm May 25, 2020 Permalink

      Agree completely! They need to do serious time for being idiots!

  2. MattTheCat
    3:38 pm May 25, 2020 Permalink

    There has also been other gators found in the TN river system. This may very well be a pet that was released, but that doesn’t negate the fact that alligators are moving Northward and their range is expanding. The Tennessee wildlife resources agency has acknowledged they have migrated into Tennessee naturally. It is also false that they can’t survive below 40 degree water temps. They can survive icy waters….look up brumation. Tennessee & Northern North Carolina don’t have a much different climate than KY (especially considering the TN river flows from the South toward the North. The food source is there, with diverse prey populations that haven’t before encountered these predators. LOTS of Asian carp can certainly help sustain their diets. Add to that several mild winters (on a micro level) & the climate change that is taking place (on a macro level), and we can expect to see more alligators in KY waters in the future in my opinion.

    • CahillsCrossingNT
      4:17 pm May 25, 2020 Permalink

      No we won’t see them naturally living in Kentucky. They cannot survive a winter here. The coastal parts of North Carolina stay warm enough and don’t freeze long enough to wipe them out. The farthest north where there is a healthy population is southern Arkansas.

    • MattTheCat
      5:54 pm May 25, 2020 Permalink I’m going to have to disagree that they couldn’t survive a mild KY winter in a lake that never freezes (avg January water temp is 44-46). They can survive in water that the surface is frozen through brumation by sticking their snout through the ice. It looks like they’re dead, being stuck in the frozen water, but they’re basically hibernating.

    • RAGE
      6:40 pm May 25, 2020 Permalink

      I agree Matt… This past winter other than the few days I believe in December were we had the polar vortex come through… Those few days we had single digit temps.. Other than that we didn’t have very many days where we even had freezing temperatures.. Alligators have survived water freezing through brumation.. I think there is a distinct possibility that one day that there could be alligators swimming in lakes and other bodies of water in Kentucky.. def the southern parts.. Gators are coming further north as their numbers continue to climb…

    • CahillsCrossingNT
      7:00 pm May 25, 2020 Permalink

      I’ve been studying reptiles for 40 years and will stand by what I wrote.