CAPTURE AN ALLIGATOR. ~ Big Catch of Kansas City Boys In a Louisiana Swamp.

June 15, 1908

Big Catch of Kansas City Boys In a
Louisiana Swamp.

Five Kansas City boys had quite an exciting experience in the Louisiana Swamps about a week ago with a nine-foot alligator, which they finally subdued, lassoed, dragged to a log car and wheeled it into camp ten miles away. Now they have it penned up at the camp, Carson, La. If they can get the railroad to "deadhead" it to Kansas City, they are willing to donate it to the Swope Park zoo as the nucleus for an alligator colony.

Fred Cutler, Charles Gibbens, Walter Sergeant, Peter Burn, and "Bud" Nichols are the boys who throttled the "gaiter." They have been down at Carson, La., learning the lumber business. Recently they have been felling trees in the forest about Carson. They boys were out some ways from the log car railroad, just rambling through the forest seeing what they could find. Suddenly young Cutler stepped upon what he believed was an old log. It moved, however, and so did Cutler. Gibbens, who was close behind and was just in the act of stepping onto the "log," felt the swish of the "log's" tail. Then the howl went up -- "It's an alligator. Run. Chase yourself. He's a fierce one."

When the boys had removed themselves to a safe distance, and they saw that the alligator had again become calm, they grew bold and began to figure on the capture of "big game." Many plans were suggested but all were argued down as not practical. When lassoing the pachyderm was suggested it was at first laughed at. But the one who suggested it insisted, and in a short time he was on hand with a rope, on the end of which he had arranged a lasso.

Then the question of how to throw the rope came into question. Noises were made so the alligator would stick up his head, and the rope was thrown. Many times it missed but after several trials, the rope-thrower made a hit. All hands and the cook then dragged the monster up to a tree and held it fast until another rope could be placed over the head. Knots in both ropes kept them from slipping down and choking the animal.

Then the march to the log car began. Two men had a rope on one side and two on the other. That was to keep the alligator from making a dash at anyone and compelling him to climb a tree. If it started toward the two on the left the two on the right would stop its progress with a yank. The fifth boy was kept busy teasing the animal from the rear to prevent its taking a seat and refusing to go. After a long and tedious pull the boys got the monster to the log car, loaded it successfully and gave it a swift railroad ride into camp -- but it was tightly roped to the car. In camp they built a pen of stout lumber, and Mr. Alligator is there now, sunning himself and anxiously awaiting free transportation to Kansas City.

Fred Cutler is a son of Dr. W. P. Cutler, pure food inspector, and Charles Gibbens is the son of W. H. Gibbens, field agent for the Humane Society. All of the boys live here, however.