CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — Some Coral Gables residents got quite the surprise visitor Friday morning – a crocodile.
Video shared with CBSMiami.com shows an 8-foot long crocodile roaming the sidewalk in the community of Gables by the Sea near S Red Road and Lugo Avenue.
Coral Gables and Pinecrest Police were seen walking alongside the crocodile presumably to keep it away from any residents.
“The first thing I saw was a commotion at the entrance to Gables-by-the Sea. The cops didn’t know what was going on and then I did a gigantic double take when I saw a crocodile walking down the street,” said Dax Bello who filmed the crocodile.
Ferdinand Kurt did the same thing.
“He was right over there by the fence. One of the cops had a stick him and was keeping it at bay and they were basically figuring out there was a crocodile there,” said Kurt to CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
Authorities say they acted quickly when they got the call at 5:30 a.m.that the crocodile was roaming about. They called trapper Todd Hardwick of Pesky Critters who along with another man captured the crocodile.
“Crocodiles are intimidating animals. I was very surprised to see that size animal there. I know, like a lot of people in this country, you have to have a lot of respect for crocodiles and you know not to get too close,” said Kurt.
Eventually, the crocodile was captured and placed in the back of a truck but not before residents took a quick snap with it. No one was hurt.
At last check, the crocodile was scheduled to be released in the afternoon into a salt water habitat in South Miami-Dade. Despite that, authorities say there’s a chance it will find its way back to the Coral Gables spot.
Authorities say American Crocodiles have never been responsible for a confirmed human death in the U.S. but just two years ago, a crocodile nicknamed Poncho bit two residents. The crocodile was eventually captured.
“I know there were crocodiles in the area. It’s a salt water animal and there are salt water canals and I was pretty sure there are crocodiles here so the first thing on my mind was not to get out of the car,” said Bello.
In the past month, five crocodiles have been captured in South Florida.