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How to Help an Alligator with a Tomato Cage Stuck on Its Head

Images surfaced recently of an alligator roaming the greens at South Carolina’s Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort with a tomato cage stuck on his head. 

Some dubbed the 11-foot-2 gator “King Arthur” as the metal frame resembled a crown while others expressed concern over its well-being. In response, the resort’s naturalist staff explained how to best handle a situation such as this. 

“It is very tempting to want to jump in and immediately help by removing whatever is stuck on the animal,” they wrote in a Facebook post. “That is not always the best thing to do, as oftentimes the animal can get free of whatever it is stuck in on its own.”

king arthur alligator
Officials say the tomato cage was stuck on the alligator’s head and neck. Image: Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort

They explained that they monitored the alligator and after two days, they saw that it had shed the crown off of his head. However, part of the cage was still wrapped around his neck, which they thought might pose a problem because it could get stuck on something underwater and cause him to drown. 

“For those reasons, we decided human intervention was necessary,” the staff said, adding that they collaborated with officials at the University of Georgia Ecology Lab to capture the gator and remove the metal piece, which fit kind of like a snare. “Now that he is free, he can safely resume living his best alligator life,” they added. 

The lesson that they wanted to share was in a case like this, the best thing you can do is contact wildlife officials so the animal is adequately cared for and they called it “an excellent example of why it is so important to properly dispose of your trash.”

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