LAFAYETTE, La. – A couple who recently relocated from Arizona to Louisiana got more than they bargained for when they woke up in the middle of the night to find an unexpected guest inside their new home. It wasn’t a burglar or an intruder, but rather a five-foot-long alligator.

Don and Jan Schultz were jolted awake by their vigilant seven-year-old dog, Panda, who sensed something amiss. “Our dog Panda growled and woke my wife up,” Don Schultz recounted. “She tapped me and said, ‘I think there’s somebody in the house.’ So, I got up and headed down the hall to check. I saw the shape of an alligator.”

The brazen reptile had managed to enter the house through the doggy door, taking advantage of an unintended entry point. Alarmed by the situation, the Schultz couple immediately dialed 911, and authorities from the local Sheriff’s department and Wildlife and Fisheries swiftly responded to their call.

“We are real grateful for the Sheriffs and Wildlife and Fisheries that came and so thoroughly dispatched the creature from our home,” Jan Schultz expressed her appreciation. “I guess it’s off swimming in a bayou somewhere now.”

To prevent any future surprises, the Schultz family has decided to take precautions. “We are putting a locking dog door now that only unlocks with the dog’s collar,” Don Schultz explained, emphasizing their commitment to keeping uninvited guests, especially of the reptilian variety, at bay.

The incident highlights the unique experiences faced by newcomers to Louisiana, where encounters with wildlife can sometimes be unexpected but certainly memorable. Don Schultz humorously summed up their ordeal, stating, “It was quite an experience. We’re getting the full Cajun experience.”

As the Schultz family settles into their new Louisiana home, their encounter with the alligator serves as a reminder to remain vigilant and adapt to the local environment. With the locking dog door in place, they hope to keep their new abode free from any uninvited reptilian visitors in the future.

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