By Jessica Vallejo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – What was supposed to be typical game of catch, led a group of West Miami-Dade neighborhood kids to a drain with an unusual surprise.

“We were playing catch and this guy over here threw a bad throw and it rolled into the storm drain. And I go, ‘Oh, Luis, look a turtle. And then he came running and he goes no its moving,” recalled Javier Alvarez.

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Both Alvarez and Luis Fernandez say they jumped back.

“And I said, ‘That’s not a turtle!’ And he realized it was a gator,” Fernandez said.

The alligator was the new friend found in the neighborhood on Friday, and he was not a little guy.

“We were first saying it was f4 feet but now they are saying it is 9 feet.”

The gator was believed to be 9 feet long. (Courtesy of Ed Filomia)

The gator that was trapped with nowhere to go left those in the neighborhood worried but also amazed.

Both Fernandez and Alvarez said they would check on the animal daily.

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“The next day we didn’t see it, but we knew it was there because the water was still moving. I would keep looking if he was there,” Alvarez said.

The reptile was stuck for days.

That’s when the Florida Fish and Wild Life Conservation Commission responded to the neighbors’ calls. And Tuesday came to remove the gator.

“When we attempted to move the gator, it backed away and we called public works they used some water pumps to push water through the storm drain and he went into the positive outflow into the canal,” said FWC Officer Ron Washington.

The first boy who spotted the gator thought it was a turtle. (Courtesy of Ed Filomia)

Washington said the alligator is back in its natural habitat.

“When no animals are hurt, then our mission has been fulfilled. We are the FWC, and protecting our natural resources is number one and public safety,” Washington said.

While neighbors are still startled, no one was hurt.

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FWC does ask you if you do run into a gator, to first keep your pet away. Also do not feed the alligator as it is considered a misdemeanor.

Jessica Vallejo