‘It was like a movie’: 11-foot gator frightens residents in neighborhood
BOILING SPRING LAKES, N.C. (WECT/Gray News) - Residents in one North Carolina neighborhood say alligators are common in their community, but a rather large one was becoming a nuisance.
Carol Woollery spoke to WECT and shared that she has lived in her Boiling Spring Lakes home for four years and first spotted an 11-foot alligator at her next-door neighbor’s house last week.
Tara Lax, Woollery’s neighbor, has called the area home for 13 years.
Both residents said they were frightened by the gator as they had not seen one this size on their property before.
“It was so big we thought it was fake, but when we drove past the alligator, it spun around and opened its mouth. It was like a movie,” Woollery said.
Clayton Ludwick, a master officer with North Carolina Wildlife, was called to assist with moving the alligator. He said the agency regularly gets calls about nuisance gators and recently removed three gators in a single day.
“Every case is different, but an officer will be the one to come out and remove the animal,” Ludwick said. “With larger alligators, the information is forwarded to our alligator biologist and that person handles those calls.”
Officials say that gators over eight feet in length can be a safety risk to people and pets, especially if people have been feeding them.
“When people start feeding them, they become dependent on people to feed them. So, every time they see a human, whether a child or an adult, they think food,” Ludwick said.
The wildlife agency said the team was able to remove the 11-foot gator from the neighborhood, but alligators are considered endangered, so there are strict rules prohibiting hunting or killing them.
According to the agency, gators can only be removed by an NC Wildlife officer or by a licensed nuisance alligator agent with a permit.
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