While a family in Bluffton’s Pinecrest community was fast asleep Saturday night, an 8-foot alligator found a new home near the resident’s front door.
According to a neighbor, Amber Blakes, the alligator has been seen roaming the neighborhood for at least a year. But on Saturday night, the alligator was found in the middle of the street and residents could not pass by.
After residents called the sheriff’s department, the alligator moved onto a front porch and yard nearby.
The homeowners and their visiting grandson were asleep inside and didn’t notice the scene in their front yard, according to Blakes.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources dispatch office received a call from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department shortly after deputies responded.
Following the standard procedure for incidents — where an animal is over 5 feet in length and in an area where it could pose a danger to people — the dispatchers contacted a permitted alligator control agent and the agent came and removed the alligator, according to DNR spokesperson David Lucas.
The alligator, which measured 8 feet six inches, was later euthanized.
Because the mating season for alligators is beginning and the weather warming up, these types of calls are fairly common. In fact, the same agent responded to a similar call Monday morning regarding a 10-foot alligator in Hardeeville, according to Lucas.
It can happen at any time, but these types of calls become more frequent this time of year, according to Lucas.