Imagine a 600-pound, 11-foot alligator in your backyard.
This is Florida, after all.
On Friday night, a Miami Fire Rescue crew was heading back to its station near Northwest 13th Street and 37th Avenue when they saw a car pulled off to the side and what looked to be a body on the ground, Miami Fire Rescue spokesman Ignatius Carroll Jr. said.
As the crew got closer it turned out to be an 11-foot alligator. “A live one, at that!” Carroll said.
Fire Rescue called in the Miami Police Department and officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission but first they had to do their own careful dance with the gator.
First, they wanted to make sure the gator wasn’t hit by any cars on the road. “At the same time, keeping a safe distance away,” Carroll said.
The gator wasn’t having any of this human interaction business. The beast wanted to go its own way.
Carroll says the gator, every so often, would get up and start walking and then lie down again as fire rescue awaited the police and the FWC .
Eventually, the creature made its way to the front driveway of a couple’s home, he said. “And before you know it, it would move again. It broke through a chain-link fence and ended up in their backyard.”
Fire Rescue figured it had better alert the residents of the neighborhood between 37th and 30th avenues, in case they had any pets in their yards — even if it meant awakening a few dozing people after 11 p.m.
“We watched that gator go through that fence like nothing,” Carroll said.
Miami PD and a Fish and Wildlife trapper soon arrived and the trapper was able to secure the gator with some rope. But, because it was wet after a night of rain making it hard to get a good hold on the slippery gator, and since it had made its way into a populated neighborhood, the trapper decided to euthanize the reptile, Carroll said.