Beaufort News

Later, alligator -- reptile is gone from Indigo Run storm drain

No one seems to know exactly where the large alligator stuck for months in a storm drain on Hilton Head Island has gone, but it's no longer trapped in a pipe in the private Indigo Run development.

Joe Maffo, president of local gator wrangling firm Critter Management, said the 11-foot gator probably found freedom by backing up more than 100 feet through the development's drainage system.

Maffo had been periodically checking on and trying to extract the gator, which was discovered by a landscaper in late 2009. It had rubbed off most of the skin on its nose while pushing against a manhole cover in an effort to free itself.

When Maffo returned in April, the gator was gone, and some rocks and sticks nearby were out of place, he said.

Maffo has not been called back to Indigo Run since, so he could not say if the gator has been seen.

Darryl Butler, the development's director of security, said the gator hasn't been spotted.

"Not that big one," he said.

He referred further questions to general manager Brad Phillips, who could not be reached for comment.

As far as Maffo's concerned, the sticky situation worked out perfectly.

"I'm just very, very glad he was capable of getting out of there," Maffo said. "Any time they can go back to nature, I love it."