A Viral Hurricane Harvey Tweet Is Giving Gators a Bad Reputation

„Education is always key: alligators are misunderstood.“

By Claire Downs | MOTHERBOARD

On Friday afternoon, just hours before tropical storm Harvey made landfall in the coastal city of Rockport, Texans began preparing for the hurricane’s inevitable devastation. Warnings of flooding, downed electrical wires, destroyed property, and issues threatening public safety dominated social media. But it wasn’t until a viral tweet, posted by the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, reminded the internet that Texans should also be wary of displaced alligators.

 The photos, credited to @txgatorsquad, gave way to sensational reports and thousands of responses, many of which assumed the gator displacement was happening in real-time. @Txgatorsquad (run by Gator Chris and Gator Christy) pounced on the opportunity to disseminate gator safety information by posting a video featuring „Halo the Edu-gator“ to their Facebook page. Gators Chris and Christy are „licensed nuisance control hunters“ who largely use the account to share gator memes, sell t-shirts, and post pics of terrifying encounters with local reptiles.