Bears and Alligators Criminal Justice

When ‘Gators Escape!!!!!


Okay, yes, granted, I should be writing about something entirely different
right now (and if my editor is reading this, I AM working very hard, really I am), but sometimes an important story breaks and it—-of necessity—moves to the top of the priority list.

Clearly this is such a case:

A little while ago, smart WLA commenter, Listener On the Sidelines
, tipped me to the fact that…..REGGIE THE ‘GATOR ESCAPED the Los Angeles Zoo last night. (For back story on Reggie look here.)

He was discovered missing from his exhibit early this morning. Zoo detectives eventually found him about 10 am, calmly sunbathing at a spot approximately 400 yards from his enclosure.

Turned out the 7 1/2 foot long, 120-pound critter climbed a five-foot, chain-link fence to make his break out. (The zookeepers know this because they followed Reggie’s “slime trail” in order to track how he’d managed to stage his getaway.)

Even higher level zoo officials couldn’t stop themselves from making jokes about the flight of the famous ‘gater.

“I think he was trying to find the 110 (Harbor Freeway) south,” said zoo Director John Lewis.

Word is there was a bit of wrestling needed to get Reggie back inside.

Janice Hahn, an LA City Councilwoman and admitted Reggie groupie, opined that maybe the ‘gater was headed back to Harbor City. “We all know that Reggie is a very smart and elusive gator,” she said.

However local CBS News reporters felt
it was really more of an issue of the ‘gater feeling lonely.

“If you know any single, female Alligators – preferably named Regina – please contact CBS 2/KCAL 9 News immediately,” they wrote, in a rare moment of courageous journalistic advocacy.

Roger. Will do.

Go, Reggie!

(Reggie photo by Mel Melcon/LA Times)


  • Government can’t even keep an alligator from crossing over a fence. Reggie probably learned that skill from the Mexicans.

    This reminds me of a true story, although it might be changed now. If you looked up “Zoo” in the Atlanta phone directory, the reference said, “See Atlanta City Government.”

    I suspect that might apply to L.A., too.

  • Woody, I think you hit this one: Reggie was really an illegal Mexican gator all along, as shown by his fence-climbing skills. Call the INS, this is a sensitive issue, seeing as he’s become a People’s Hero and Councilwoman Photo-Op guarantor. I don’t think he needs a g.f., I think he left his heart back in Mexico.

  • Woody, I think Reggie should shut his eyes and grunt like his taking a hard shit and grow some wings. Flying over and into the USA from Europe seems to be a much easier task than jumping over a fence these days. Either that, or he can just bribe the Zoo Security Guard, I hear American Border agents are also good at that.

  • Uhhh, guys, I don’t want to be a spoil sport, but that gator is a dangerous animal. Getting out like that, due to inadequate preparations could have resulted in a child getting killed. Would anyone be saying “Go Reggie” then? Or would you much more likely be raising a stink?

    A gator has some 10,000 pounds per square inch of force when he bites down. Reggie is a menace, and that ain’t no joke. Wild animals are NOT amusing when they can get out repeatedly like that.

  • There are loose gators in Florida all the time, get out from the Everglades, or people think they’re “cute” pets in a tub, then when they grow and they can’t feed ’em fast enough (where do you get enough rats or rodents?) they let ’em loose. And they just cook ’em there, in restaurants with signs like, “Gator Tails Like Your Mama Used to Make.” (Honest, I saw that one.)

    It seems odd that it was so hard to catch this one — supposedly took over $200K. I’ve even seen an alleged report that Reggie was flown in from FLA when they got too embarrassed being unable to catch the real Reggie. Is he trying to get back to Fla? Maybe he hasn’t heard of those restaurants.

  • Like Michael Vick would say in a modified old joke in response to what kind of dog is that…until we cut his tail and painted him yellow, he was an alligator.

  • Everytime I go to Orlando, the wife wants to see the gator show. But since that Zoo guy decided to play chicken with his baby, she now wont touch the issue and gets off my back. Now I have to figure out how to bullshit her a good story and convince her that the gators have been roaming around and spotted at the outlet mall near Disney World.

  • If LA knew they were going to have this gatorade headache, they should have made some nice boots and a belt out of reggie.

  • Oh, oh, now we’re going to get PETA and the more radical animal groups on this blog, since people are talking about turning Reggie into boots, belts and tasty fried gator snacks. RUN, REGGIE, RUN!!! FREE REGGIE!!!

  • Reggie is a menace, and that ain’t no joke.

    No doubt he is. But, there is such romatic appeal in a rogue.

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