Joe and Barry Parker miss their eleven year old black lab, named Harry. He was killed last week, after he and the Parker's other lab, Jimbo, dug out and ran down to Mobile Bay near Mayday Park for a swim. Harry never returned home. After four days, a Nuisance Control officer with the State Conservation Department found Harry's red collar in a Daphne pond, a mile and a half away from where he was killed. The alligator pulled Harry's body, into the pond that drains off of Mobile Bay. The officer later shot and killed the ten foot gator. Three days earlier, the officer killed a nine foot gator in the same pond.
The Parkers took their dogs for walks along the beach two to three times per week, but said they felt that the risk of an alligator attack was small. Barry Parker says she is having a hard time dealing with the idea of how Harry died. He was like a family member. She says, "We just miss him. Just the thought of his face when this happened is killing me."
The Parkers want to remind people to be careful if you or your pets swim in Mobile Bay. The place where Barry was attacked is one block from Mayday Park, where many children swim. Joe says, "If the alligator can attack an 80 pound dog, it can certainly attack a 40 pound child is what I keep thinking about." Barry adds, "Does everyone need to run and move, No! Just know that it's mating season, and there's an abnormal amount out there that are large. People need to know that."
Officials with the Department of Conservation say to be careful if you walk your dogs along Mobile Bay. Alligators will attack anything, as large as a deer.