MIAMI (WSVN) - A group of firefighters worked well into the night to ensure an 11-foot alligator that was lurking around a Miami neighborhood was captured, but due to safety concerns, the creature was euthanized.
The Miami Fire Rescue crew had noticed something strange during their drive back to the station near Northwest 13th Street and 37th Avenue, just after 11 p.m., Friday.
At first, the crew thought the reptile was an unconscious person.
“As they got closer, they noticed that this was not a person but actually an 11-foot alligator,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll.
Area resident Enrique Diaz was among the residents who spotted the large reptile. When asked what he plans to tell his classmates when he returns to school on Monday, he replied, “Uhh, guys? I think I just saw an alligator at my house.”
City of Miami Police responded to the scene and contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to assist in capturing the animal.
Over the course of the next hour, the alligator kept moving.
“Alligators are known to be dangerous, especially something that’s 11 foot,” said Carroll.
“It started to move step by step, really slow,” said Diaz.
“I was scared. I thought it would come into our house because that gate was open,” said area resident Aaron Diaz.
Meanwhile, crews ensured no one got too close to the scaly visitor.
“For about an hour, they monitored this alligator, along with Miami Police, as it continued to make its way further into the residential neighborhood,” said Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll.
Fortunately, officials said, the animal’s sluggish movements enabled them to keep the situation under control.
“The alligator was moving somewhat slowly, so we’re not sure exactly why, but that worked in our favor because we were able to monitor him until the trapper could arrive,” said Carroll.
Officials finally jumped in after the alligator settled in an elderly couple’s backyard.
“When the alligator made its way into the backyard we realized that the alligator was contained momentarily, at which time the trapper arrived and was able to at least rope the alligator,” said Carroll.
The reptile put up a fight, and unfortunately, officials said, the weather conditions that night put trappers’ safety in jeopardy.
“The ground is wet, the alligator is wet. He didn’t want to take a chance, so the trapper made the decision to put the alligator down,” said Carroll.
Neighbors expressed their gratitude toward first responders for keeping them safe.
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