Our network

Wandering gator an unwelcome visitor | Weird

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Wandering gator an unwelcome visitor

New Tampa, Florida - Aaron French never fancied himself an alligator wrangler, but that's just the position he found himself roped into this morning, after a neighbor out walking discovered a gator doing the same.

"The gator was walking down the corridor towards the houses," says French, pointing at a narrow sidewalk to two adjoining homes.

Photo Gallery: Gator tied up in New Tampa neighborhood

And when the gator got trapped in the narrow entryway, French figured something had to be done and fast.  He didn't want the resident to be greeted by a vicious visitor.

"He was climbing the door," says French. "She opens the door to go to work; she could be bit."

So with a cattle rope, French lassoed a leg. The hissing gator then rolled and tangled himself up and French tugged him across the street and parked him by a no parking sign, all the while keeping his distance. "They can hurt you and they can run, so I kept away from him and let him tie himself up."

After residents called police, a state trapper came and hauled the 7'8" gator away.

"Thank you so much," says one neighbor greeting French Wednesday afternoon.

While neighbors are glad French got the gator, Florida wildlife officers strongly discourage such actions, because it can be very dangerous. If there's a nuisance alligator around, people are supposed to call the FWC at 888-404-3922 and wait for experts to arrive.

So now, right along with getting the gator, French is getting an official warning from the state.

Still looking back, this minister says that's one state commandment he'd break again.

"Absolutely," says French. "I believe you've got to treat your neighbor as yourself and it's just like its my kid behind the door."

This New Tampa neighborhood is called The Promenade, but today's walk will be this gator's last. Nuisance alligators more than four feet long are killed and their meat and hide sold.


Hillsborough County Deals

Hillsborough County Businesses