Gulf Coast Charlie winning name for museum gator

Published 4:38 pm Monday, February 1, 2016


A 13-plus pound alligator exhibit at Museum of the Gulf Coast now has a name — one big enough to live up to its size and the back water story that brought to the immense reptile to Port Arthur.

From more than 75 entries submitted for the Name the Alligator Contest, 15-year-old Jenny Noack, of Sour Lake, won hands-down with “Gulf Coast Charlie.”

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Noack’s grandmother, Karen Payne, said her granddaughter had asked to go to the Janis Joplin display. While searching the museum’s Web site, Jenny and her sister saw the Name the Alligator contest and decided to enter.

“Jenny named the alligator Gulf Coast Charlie because it is in the Gulf Coast museum and because she said it looks like a “Charlie,” Payne said.

The winner will be honored during a special presentation, and her name will be on a plaque with the alligator’s name. She will also receive a $50 gift certificate.

As the story goes, twice the same man caught the big alligator now known as Gulf Coast Charlie, but only one lived to relate the tall tale.

“The alligator was caught in Anahuac by an alligator hunter. The first time the hunter shot the him, then dragged him into his boat. But, he did not die. The alligator got out of the boat and swam away,” Stephanie Harren, the museum’s education coordinator said.

A year later, the same hunter caught the same alligator. He knew it was the same one because he had tagged it a year earlier. Again, he shot the big gator, and this time the bullet did its job.

The gator was donated to the museum so all could witness his might.

Stephanie estimated the gator to be between 50 and 75 years old.

Second and third place winners were also selected in the contest.

Leandro Vega, of Port Arthur, won second place with the name “Arthur.”

Anslie Lee, of Nederland, was the third place winner with the name “Allie.”


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