Gator captured after being spotted near South Beach pier

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A baby alligator surprised people at a packed pier on South Beach, Sunday morning.

The gator was found near the South Pointe Park pier in the Atlantic Ocean, swimming by the jetty and was thought to be in distress.

“I was, like, amazed that it would be there,” said one witness.

Beachgoers got a good look at the four-foot reptile before experts were called out to help.

Officials said the alligator is not native to saltwater.

“According to them, it came here from a river,” said tourist Devorah Kleinman. “It’s not supposed to be here.”

7News viewers sent in cellphone video of the large reptile on the rocks near the jetty as wildlife officials attempted to capture it.

Around lunchtime, with a big beach audience, Miami Beach cops, Miami Beach Ocean Rescue, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials and beachgoers in swimsuits worked together to catch the gator.

“We saw the baby alligator there, and it needed help,” said Edward Posada, who helped with the rescue. “We called wildlife who came and rescued it.”

According to a viewer, it took at least two hours for crews to capture the gator. They used rope, sticks and a rock to help get it out of the water.

“I’m happy,” said Posada. “It put a smile on my face that we saved it.”

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