North Carolina Police Officers Walk 9-Foot Alligator on a Leash: PHOTO

by Jennifer Shea

A 9-foot alligator decided it wanted to take a dip in a North Carolina swimming pool last week. Police officers ended up escorting it down the street in a surprising scene caught on camera.  

Sunset Beach, North Carolina police shared a photo of their stroll with the gator on their Facebook page. The gator’s Oct. 15 romp through the community ended on Oyster Bay Drive when police corralled the animal.

They showed up in response to calls from residents who said the alligator was trying to get into the community pool. When first responders arrived on the scene, they found that the gator had busted through the porch lattice at the reservation office.

“Out of concern for the safety of property owners and neighborhood residents, the gator was relocated to a nearby pond,” Sunset Beach police posted to Facebook.

Alligators Are Relatively Common Sight on Oyster Bay Golf Course

Alligators are more common in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. But they do also reside in the coastal, swampy parts of North Carolina, CBS 17 reports.

Oyster Bay Drive, where the gator was ultimately stopped, sits in the midst of the Oyster Bay Golf Links course. That’s surrounded by ponds and close to the Intracoastal Waterway. Which may explain how a 9-foot alligator came to be wandering through that particular residential neighborhood.

Google reviews of the golf course suggest that alligators have been spotted there before. But they don’t often crawl out into the surrounding neighborhoods, apparently.

Sunset Beach Suggests ‘Coexisting’ With Gators

The Sunset Beach town government website hosts a guide to coexisting with alligators. It notes that it is against the law for people to kill, harm or harass alligators in North Carolina.

Unlike the would-be swimmer that police walked down the street, most alligators are shy and reclusive. If you see one, the guide recommends leaving the gator alone until it moves along “within a few hours to a couple of weeks.”

It is also against the law to feed alligators, however, because if they become habituated and learn to turn to humans for food, that could cause obvious problems. To ensure that you’re not feeding alligators, the guide recommends you refrain from feeding ducks, geese and fish in waters where alligators hang out.

Alligators longer than 8 feet, like the gator found in Sunset Beach last week, do pose a safety risk for humans and pets. Hunting them is against the law in North Carolina. But authorities do sometimes respond to calls to deal with a stray alligator here or there.

They seldom wind up walking the alligator down the street like a 9-foot dog, however. Now that’s not something you see every day.