November 19, 2010

The Charlotte Observer: Giant SC Gator Gets a New Home

By Bo Petersen
Nov. 18, 2010

CHARLESTON

Charlie went along peaceably enough.

...the legendary beast of the Joint Base Charleston Weapons Station handled his transfer on Wednesday as gracefully as could be expected — just as soon as Ron Russell tied off his snout, covered his eyes with a towel and sat on his head, while two other men straddled his back...

Charlie is the huge, old, “tame” alligator with a belly like a whale and an appetite like an ogre who has lived for at least a few decades at the weapons station. He has become the beloved behemoth of the place, regaling admirers from a retention pond off Remount Road, where he’s fed with mess hall scraps, roadkill, chicken wings, submarine sandwiches and anything else tossed over the pond fence...

The alligator measured out to 12 feet even. Russell “conservatively" estimated his weight at 500 pounds...

But he and a sizeable girlfriend had to be moved temporarily to a nearby pond so the retention pond can be cleared and deepened. It took eight people to lift the board holding him onto the truck bed.

Nobody knows for sure how long Charlie has lived in the retention pond. The lore has grown along with the gator. There’s supposedly a letter on file from two sailors admitting they caught him on the roadside in 1951 and placed him there. Among a host of people who contacted The Post and Courier after an earlier story, Lloyd Clayton, Hanahan Water Treatment Plant maintenance planner, remembered his grandfather taking him to see the alligator about 60 years ago...

Read the full article here

Photo Credit: The State
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