Latest News

Unexpected guest hits the beach at Hilton Head's Sea Pines Resort

Sea Pines Resort security captured a gator with a fishing pole on the beach early Friday morning.
Sea Pines Resort security captured a gator with a fishing pole on the beach early Friday morning. special to The Island Packet

A Lowcountry pond is one place you might spot an alligator.

The Atlantic ocean?

Not so much.

Erline Smith, a resident of the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, said she was on her early morning beach walk Friday when she saw the gator.

"I've been in Sea Pines for 21 years," Smith said, "and I'd never seen an alligator swimming."

Sometimes, however,the great reptiles will "meander out onto the beach," according to Sea Pines wildlife management,

Bret Martin, president of Sea Pines community service associates, said the resort offers free nuisance animal removal service, employing both wildlife managers and biologists.

"We are a wildlife refuge, and that's part of what we do every day here," Martin said.

"We don't have alligators on the beach every day," he said with a laugh.

Security personnel arrived around 7:30 a.m. to capture the creature, who had swam from mile marker 33 to about the 24-mile marker.

Smith said there were "tons" of people watching the gator.

"They caught it with a fishing pole," Smith said. "Then they taped its mouth shut."

Martin said captured wildlife generally ends up living at the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, and this one will likely be a new addition.

Or a "new buddy," as Smith put it in an email.

To report an aggressive or nuisance alligator, Sea Pines residents can call the Security Department Dispatch Phone Line at 843-671-7170.

  Comments