Ever seen an abandoned alligator with his own blog? Well, "our town’s" Reggie writes in his own at Save Reggie. To say it's a howl is an understatement.
Here it is in a nutshell. One of the biggest stories locally is that an alligator affectionately named Reggie has been making Lake Machado in Ken Malloy Regional Park in Harbor City, CA his home for at least 35 days. This park is about six miles from where I live. Every now and then there is a sighting. To top it all off, a smaller alligator named Little Reggie also turned up though alligator wrestlers caught the little guy within days and he’s at the L.A. Zoo. Though, obviously, we have all been preoccupied with the cataclysmic news of the last weeks, the local papers always manage to say something every day because for the South Bay area of Los Angeles, it’s kind of fun and refreshing. Certainly less scary than drive-bys, Arnold Schwarzenegger glad handing, reports that more teens than ever are having oral sex, and elder abuse is on the rise. (Hey, watch it!)
It seems Reggie got too big to keep in the back yard of a former LAPD officer in San Pedro who kept him as a pet and he and a buddy let it loose in there. That’s how we found out the alligator's name--and now Reggie’s former owner is probably out on bail. He raises all kinds of exotic animals in his backyard, or at least he did.
How do we really know if Reggie is a boy or girl? I personally don’t know how you tell, but LA Councilwoman Janice Hahn claims to have no problem telling if he is male or female. The Inside Bay Area News website reprinted an LA Times article that quotes Hahn as saying "I'm sure Reggie is a he, because he clearly avoids commitment, and he's never where he says he's going to be."
This urban alligator has managed to remain unseen now for many days and to say that Lake Machado is now on the map internationally, is an understatement. A Reggie sub-culture has developed and families take their children to observe the Reggie Watch and all the alligator experts attempting to coax him out. We check Reggie's blog every day to see what really is going on in an alligator's brain, which is supposed to be amoeba sized. (See comments below: Reggie himself commented here and says his brain is the size of a peanut.)
Lake Machado has been closely monitored by environmentalists for many years who have, until Reggie, gotten little response in their hard work of keeping the lake pristine. My friend Martin Byhower, who teaches science at my school, thinks all this publicity is a good thing ultimately because there’s no forgetting about Lake Machado now. As for me, I’ve been too busy to join in the in person hoopla, but maybe Sunday I’ll drive by and take a look. Heck, this is history—local history anyway.
My question is this. If alligators are this elusive, isn't it possible that all over Southern California there are several alligators growing up unseen in our lakes? Gives me the creeps to think about it.