Alligator found in area resident’s yard

Published 11:23 pm Monday, October 27, 2008

It’s a typical Monday morning. You and your wife are about to leave for work. You say your goodbyes, get in your vehicles and get ready to back out onto the road.

Your wife rolls her window down and tells you, “There’s an alligator under your truck.”

Not a typical Monday morning.

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That was how the day began for John Brown as he got ready to leave for work. His wife had seen the four-foot-long alligator that had apparently sought shelter under his truck.

After Brown got out of his truck, the alligator moved up against the house. That was when Brown called for the City of Demopolis Animal Control.

Lucille Carpenter and Brandon McCrory responded to the call. McCrory used a snare loop to pin the alligator down, then with someone else holding the loop on the reptile, he used duct tape to wrap the ’gator’s mouth shut. They then put the loop in the snare pole around the alligator’s neck and used it to help carry the alligator to a cage on the animal control unit’s truck.

“When it went up against the house, we called the police,” Brown said. “We just couldn’t believe it. You just don’t expect to see them here. I’m just glad it wasn’t at the school (John Essex, located behind Brown’s house) when the kids were out.”

“We had just had training on capturing alligators a few weeks ago,” said Carpenter. “We had schools in Thomasville and Montgomery, and we were laughing at it because we were thinking, ‘We’ll never use this.’ Well, I guess we did!”

Carpenter said the Alabama Department of Fish and Wildlife took the alligator to a remote area and released it into the wild.

American alligators are native only to the southeast United States in an area that extends as far as west-central Alabama, according to the National Geographic Society Web site. They are usually found in Louisiana and Florida, but can be found in any wetlands in the Southeast, such as freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps and marshes. Carpenter said she had seen alligators in the rivers surrounding the north Marengo County area.