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Old 08-27-2005
SHADCHA SHADCHA is offline
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Default Search for 'Spooked' Gator Is Called Off

Reptile wranglers searching for an alligator let loose in a southern California lake have given up the hunt at least for now.

The alligator was spotted Aug. 12 in Harbor City's Lake Machado, and since then hundreds of visitors have flocked to the South Los Angeles park for a glimpse.

However, the reptile has not been seen since Aug. 21.

"We are considering this halftime," Tim Williams, a 30-year gator handler from Florida, said Friday when the search was called off. "He's won the first half."

Two men, one a Los Angeles officer, were arrested this past week for conspiring to release the alligator in the 56-acre lake.

Williams said the gator has plenty of food frogs and crayfish inhabiting the lake, and tortillas and chicken legs left by visitors and park officials.

Abraham Amezcua, 35, who was selling T-shirts reading "You'll Never Catch Me" in English and Spanish, said the gator may not be seen for a long time.

"He's spooked," Williams said. "He knows something is up."
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