Alligator sighting prompts closing part of popular Cobb County park

A small portion of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area will be closed indefinitely for the safety of visitors and to protect visiting wildlife, National Park Service officials said Tuesday.

A short section of the Cochran Shoals Fitness Loop, located in the Cochran Shoals unit of the park, will be closed Tuesday until further notice, Adrianna McLane, a spokeswoman for the park, said in an email.

An 8-foot-long alligator spotted March 9 in the park prompted the closure as a precaution.

Cobb County wildlife photographer Victor Webb was walking in Cochran Shoals when he came upon a large animal resting on the banks. He found himself less than 30 yards away from the adult alligator.

“People have been telling me about that alligator, but I never believed them,” Webb previoulsy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Lo and behold, there she was laying on the sandy bank.”

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 Reports: Atlanta rapper T.I.’s sister, Precious Harris, has died
  2. 2 Audit: University System owes millions to Georgia pension plan
  3. 3 Ga. news: 5, maybe more, Sandtown students to face school discipline

RELATED: Why are so many alligators knocking on our doors?

Officials said recent interactions with the alligator pose a risk to public safety as well as the health of wildlife.

“This temporary closure will provide added protection for the alligator and the visiting public while the National Park Service and Georgia Department of Natural Resources develop a range of next steps to ensure the long-term protection of the alligator and promote visitor safety,” McLane said.

RELATED: Police warn Atlanta residents to stop taking alligator selfies with Flat Creek Floyd

More from AJC