It’s no crock: Alligator sightings on the Colorado River in Parker, AZ prompted calls to the La Paz County Sheriff’s Department from fearful boaters last weekend. But a snappy response by the department on Tuesday made it clear that the gator was a toy.
Parker Live met with the owner of the faux reptile north of Parker late on Tuesday. The man didn’t expect the weekend outing to cause so many waves, but says it’s not the first time the RC-controlled predator has been for for a swim on the Parker Strip.
“I’ve been running this thing around here on the river for a while,” said the man, who wanted to remain anonymous. “Usually once people see it’s a toy they just laugh and they’ll even try to get pictures with it. In person, people laugh, it’s only on the internet people who didn’t even see it have problems with it.”
Oh, snap! It’s true, some online comments objected to the toy being out on the water:
“Only someone that can afford such a toy would feel this is entertainment at the cost of someone else sanity or life.”
“Then ppl should of been notified that was a remote control toy. Could of given someone a heart attack.”
“Not funny! I’m terrified of them.”
But a majority of the comments were from people who said they could see the funny side, some of whom mocked those who disagreed with it and told them they should lighten up.
“Everybody down near [Headgate] Dam this weekend was laughing,” the croc’s handler said.
The man himself thinks it’s “hilarious” and says it’s all part of the tradition of fun on the river that he’s had with friends and family over the years.
Anyway, don’t worry: the closest place where real wild gators live is the Rio Grande in Texas, two and a half states away. The Parker Strip is croc-free, with just this one foam-based exception.