CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Florida is full of alligators. It is a fact, but it is also not every day you wake up to see a very large gator sauntering down the sidewalk.
That is exactly what happened in a Coral Gables neighborhood when the giant gator was spotted walking down a sidewalk early Friday morning in the area of SW 57th Avenue and 34th Street.
Nina Vandenbergue has lived in the neighborhood for 2 months. She is no stranger to gator spotting but she has never seen something quite like this.
“Sometimes we see them on the other side of Coral Gables but this big in the middle of the street, never,” said Vandenbergue.
Video of the gator, which is about 9-feet long, was first posted on the social media site @OnlyInDade.
Vandenbergue said her husband was heading to work when he saw what was going on outside.
“I went out and I saw it just in front of the house [across the street],” said Vandenbergue.
Soon after, FWC sent a trapper to the neighborhood.
It did not take long for the trapper to catch up with the gator about three blocks away.
The gator was captured outside of a home at SW 34th Street and N Waterway Drive, according to FWC.
WATCH TRAPPER CATCH GATOR HERE
A neighbor sent CBS4 cellphone video of the giant reptile being wrangled and shows the gator doing a few of those so-called ‘death rolls’ in an attempt to evade capture. It did not work.
The FWC took the alligator away to be ‘processed’ which means it is killed for its meat and hide.
That’s standard procedure for nuisance gators in Florida.
Florida has a Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) which contracts with trappers across the state. It dispatches them when law enforcement gets a call about an alligator that might pose a threat to people, property or pets.
The FWC says the goal of SNAP is to proactively address public safety risk from alligators in developed areas, while conserving alligators in areas where they naturally occur.
The FWC will not relocate a nuisance alligator because Florida has a healthy and stable population of about 1.3 million gators in the state.
The removal of nuisance alligators does not have a significant impact on the state’s alligator population, according to FWC.
Anyone with concerns about an alligator may call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).