SOUTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents in a Southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood woke up to a scary sight on Friday morning after an alligator was seen on the road.
A witness spotted the 9-foot gator in the area of Southwest 57th Avenue and 34th Street at around 6:30 a.m. while he was on his way to work.
“That’s a big boy. I don’t know how he got this far. He got lost here in Miami — lost in the neighborhood,” neighbor Ricardo Victorero said. “Take him back out to the wilderness.”
Maria Mendoza said the gator sighting put her in a tricky situation.
“My neighbor across the street called me and said, ‘Don’t step out your front door,'” Mendoza said. “I thought he was kidding. I go, ‘Why?’ He goes, ‘There’s an alligator in front of your yard,’ so I said, ‘Yeah, very funny.'”
Those who came across the reptile turned to social media to share photos and videos of the casual stroll before police and wildlife officials arrived.
“I’ve been in this house for 30 years. Never, never has this happened,” Mendoza continued.
However, Todd Hardwick, the trapper who responded to remove the gator, said it’s actually a common occurrence.
“This is a fairly typical thing for a trapper to see,” Hardwick said, “and that’s a large alligator coming out of a canal and taking a shortcut to another waterway. For the homeowners here, it’s not a normal thing. It’s a little alarming.”
The main concern in a situation like this is young children and small pets who may be outdoors.
“Even if you do not live on a lake or a canal, you could find an alligator in your garage, car port or driveway,” Hardwick said, “which is basically what happened here today.”
The gator was able to safely be removed from the neighborhood.
“Only here,” Mendoza said. “Only in Miami.”
Wildlife officials said the recent rain storms has likely led the gators to move around more. They urge residents who run into a gator to keep a safe distance and call police immediately.
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