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Cleburne Teens Catch 6-Foot Gator On Trout Line

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jennifer Lindgren
Jennifer joined CBS 11 News in September 2013. For her, the move ...
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CLEBURNE (CBSDFW.COM) - Three Johnson County teens have a fishing tale they will never forget, after catching an alligator on a trout line.

Kevin Vaughn, 17, and his friends, Joey Kane and Craig Kite, both 14, set fishing lines in Buffalo Creek off South Main Street. But just as the three teens went to check the lines Tuesday night, the line tugged back.

“The line just shot out and jerked my hand. It was dragging our canoe around, we seen the leg come up and I was like, ‘It’s a gator!” said Vaughn.

Their first instinct: cut the line, and leave the creature alone.

But curiosity and excitement got the better of the friends.

“Basically, we were thinking — this is cool. We have a gator in our hands,” the high school senior said.

The three buddies managed to grab the gator by the tail, tie it down and haul it up the creek bank. “We almost got bit a couple times.”

The teens called 911 when they were on land.

Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputies said it’s not rare for an alligator to live in the waters of deep creeks and lakes in the Cleburne area. But Captain Mike Gilbert said he can only think of two incidents in the last ten years involving alligators where the sheriff’s office responded.

“I think it’s pretty incredible. To be honest with you, I didn’t ever think I’d come across a gator. It’s an adrenaline rush,” said Vaughn.

Deputies said the game warden removed the alligator. It was badly injured (either from the fishing line, or the human encounter) and the creature was euthanized.

Deputies offer the following advice to people who find alligators in the wild: If it’s not bothering anyone, leave it alone. If the gator is a threat, call 911, and the authorities can safely remove it.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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