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Sheriff's deputy lassoes injured alligator

A slightly injured alligator was found early Friday morning wandering between a ditch and a fence in a mostly industrial area near Pinellas Park.

Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputy George Starkes was called to the scene at 7 a.m. to catch the alligator, which he said was 8 feet 2 inches long.

The back of the animal's head was injured, Starkes explained.

The alligator had been seen a few times before, but no one was able to catch it.

"I just got a rope and lassoed him," Starkes said.

Starkes then called animal control officers who loaded the alligator into a truck to be destroyed, he said.

Each year, Starkes said his department gets a call about a wandering alligator. And alligators are not the only animals he has had to capture.

Before northern parts of the county were developed, Starkes said he was called to contend with "dozens of snakes" and even cows.

"Basically, we used to herd cows into pastures," Starkes said.