Article Courtesy of FOX 35
By Lara Greenberg
Published May 8, 2019
WINTER GARDEN - Rain, heat, darkness: they don’t stop mail carriers. But
alligators? Now that’s a different story.
Mail carriers stopped delivering the mail
in a Winter Garden, Florida neighborhood, because of
concerns about the reptiles. Now, residents are upset,
saying there’s nothing to fear.
“We just have a lot [of mail] in our box, and that’s just
kind of surprising for us, because we really haven’t
expected that before,” said Cindy Mayorga.
“The alligator was resting outside and looking towards where
we were,” said Grace Echevarria.
It’s the first time someone’s complained about the gator;
however, it’s not the first time the gator has scared a mail
“He was there delivering the mail and he looked nervous, and
he says, ‘Look, look there’s an alligator. There’s two of
them!’ I said, 'Oh they’re having babies.’ I thought it was
a joke,” said Echevarria.
She lives in one of the 65 homes in the subdivision. She
said they have all seen the alligators here and even named one "Harold."
“I don’t know how aggressive the alligator is,” she said. “I’ve seen the
gator. The gator’s usually just doing his own thing. It’s a gator. "
But last Friday, a lawyer for the HOA says a mail carrier complained and the
U.S. Postal Service stopped delivering mail there for two days. The Postal
Service sent a statement to FOX 35, which read:
"The Postal Service’s goal is to provide the best delivery service possible.
In addition, the safety and well-being of our employees is of paramount
importance. In order to ensure the welfare and safety of our delivery
personnel, the Postal Service has guidelines in place which address
situations such as a threatening animal, which could cause injury to an
employee. While our letter carriers are vigilant and dedicated, occasionally
we are forced to stop mail delivery at an address. In this particular
situation, we attempted mail delivery daily and local postal management
worked with the neighborhood association to find a solution. Mail is
currently being delivered."
“I don’t think it’s legal that they will hold the mail,” said Echevarria.
But today mail delivery resumed. Someone was with the mail carrier keeping
watch for gators.
“I’ve never been scared to check my mail. I usually come here with my dog,
and it’s usually just the birds.”
The HOA plans to move the mailboxes away from the lake. That could take
weeks or even months. The other option is to trap the gators, but the HOA
doesn’t want to do that.
The homeowners association said an alligator in a nearby lake bothered one
of the mail carriers.