Baby Gator Gets "Big Mad" When Deputies Catch It, "He Is Trying to Come After You!"
"Is any day in Florida complete without a gator sighting?"
Last weekend, a Florida homeowner was surprised to discover that rustling in their flowerbeds wasn't a squirrel or the neighbor's cat—it was a three-foot-long baby alligator. The discovery was made, and authorities alerted, in the early afternoon of May 13 at a home in Seminole. "Over the weekend, a citizen noticed a peculiar rustling in their bushes, but they never expected it to be a gator!" the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook post. "Is any day in Florida complete without a gator sighting?"
The juvenile alligator had managed to find its way into a courtyard, where it became trapped. Video taken by the sheriff's office show two amused deputies trying to flush the reptile out of the bushes; one used a broom. Ultimately, the alligator was caught with a catch pole and removed from the yard. "Come here, little fella, it's OK," one officer said as he ushered him out of the area. "Aw, he's just a baby," another said, as the feisty little reptile thrashed against the restraint. "He's trying to come after you!"
The video has since been viewed more than 6,000 times. "Though he may be little he can still cause a fierce disruption," the sheriff's office said in the Facebook post. "The fella was 'big mad' but safely relocated to a nearby pond where he could cool down." "Hope someone read him his rights," one commenter wrote. "Most places have cats up in trees. Here it's gators. I love it," one woman said. "Awwww he's too little to be that mad!!" another wrote.
Alligator sightings are highest during this time of year, when male gators wander into unfamiliar territory in search of females. While alligator sightings are common to Florida, the state has no monopoly on them—last week, a nine-foot-long alligator wandered into a fenced-in yard in North Carolina and got stuck when the gate closed behind it. The homeowner notified police. "Out of concern for the safety of the alligator, officers came to its aid," the Sunset Beach police posted on their Facebook page. "The alligator wasn't happy, as it didn't realize (officers) were there to help." It took three officers to snare the alligator with catch poles and load it into the back of a pickup truck, after which it was returned to the neighborhood pond.
And in March, an alligator knocked on a man's door and attacked him when he answered it. Scot Hollingsworth said he was watching TV with his wife in their Daytona Beach home on March 4 when he heard a bump at the door. When he opened it, a nine-foot-long alligator promptly bit him on the leg. "Oh, crap, a gator just bit me," was Hollingsworth's first impression, he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "And I stepped back inside and closed the door and started to assess just how bad things were." His wife called 911 while Hollingsworth tended to a large gash in his leg.
The homeowner was taken to the hospital and treated for injuries that, luckily, weren't life threatening. "It happened so quickly, wasn't a whole lot (of time). It was just total surprise and shock," Hollingsworth told Click Orlando. "We see alligators behind our house, it's a regular thing, but they always keep their distance from us." The alligator was euthanized, although Hollingsworth said he wished it weren't. "I suspect I surprised the alligator as much as he surprised me," he said.