Gator sighting near 'Hooch concerns Cobb residents

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. —

Hikers near the Chattahoochee River had a surprising encounter with a large alligator this holiday weekend.

Rangers believe the alligator has made a home in the swamp land in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area on the Cobb County side of the river but near some condos and apartments.

Officials told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt there have been sightings over the past five years, with the most recent pictures showing a much bigger alligator than earlier reports.

Asha Maurya showed Cavitt photos of the gator they took a few days ago.

“It was probably 8 to 10 feet long and probably 300 pounds and it was just lying there,” Maurya said.

Regular sightings have prompted the park service to post warning signs near the swamps and main walking trails. The signs urge hikers to keep their small pets on a leash.

The alligator sightings on trails away from the river have some worried that recent wet weather pushed the alligator's turf closer to apartments on the Powers Ferry Road side of the river.