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It's long been rumored that an alligator has called the 35 million gallon reservoir at Springs Global's Grace Complex home.
And this week, Springs Senior Vice President of Human Resources Roland Myers confirmed that's the case. But how the alligator's home will be affected when Springs closes the Grace plant early next year isn't clear.
Myers said the company has notified the S.C. Department of Natural Resources about the alligator. He said officials there didn't give the company a clear path on how to secure the alligator.
"They didn't say anything," Myers said, referring to a course of action to take.
But Cpl. Shean Coates, a DNR official for Lancaster County, wonders who Springs officials spoke to at DNR.
Coates said Tuesday that this is a situation the state would want to watch closely, since it involves a loose alligator in the wild. That's something the state doesn't want, he said.
"DNR would have to watch and regulate that closely (how the alligator is affected by the plant closing)," he said, noting it involves a "nuisance" pet.
"It's not as simple as dealing with raccoons," he said.
Coates said he's heard that more than one alligator lives in the reservoir, which would make the situation even more critical.
Coates said DNR provides permits to private contractors to re-locate "nuisance" wildlife that fall within their area of expertise to more appropriate habitats.
DNR has a wing devoted to alligator biology, as there are considerable populations in the state's low country.
Coates said the alligator or alligators at the Grace plant are protected under law.
"That alligator is just as protected as anything, no matter where it's at," he said.
Alligators are not usually found in this part of South Carolina.
But sometimes people help get them here by transporting them from their natural habitat and releasing them in ponds or other waterways in the region.
Contact Johnathan Ryan
at 416-8416 or