In the early hours of Friday morning, a woman was delivering newspapers in Clearwater, Florida, when the headlights of her truck flashed on someone in the street.
The quest for a midnight snack had led a hungry reptile right to the door of a housing complex — and he did not seem happy.
The delivery driver took out her cellphone and immediately dialed 911. “There is about a 10- to 15-foot alligator that was in the road and it is now thrashing around in front of one of the units,” she told the emergency operator. “If that owner wakes up they’re going to have a big problem.”
The driver feared that the homeowner would hear the alligator’s cries and accidentally open the door to him — but he didn’t wait for an invitation to enter.
The 11-foot alligator broke into the house through a low window and stalked into the kitchen, where he seemed quite content to stay.
The police received another 911 call just minutes later: “I have a gigantic alligator who came in through my garage and is sitting in my kitchen,” the homeowner explained over the phone. “It’s huge!”
“I don’t know how it got here,” she added, “but it’s here.”
Luckily, the police and professional alligator trappers were already on their way to the scene. With no pets to worry about, the homeowner went into her bedroom and shut the door on the unwanted intruder.
When trappers attempted to coax the alligator from the house, the reptile did everything he could to stay, including knocking over furniture and grabbing a drink on his way out.
“During the apprehension, the alligator knocked over a wine shelf and several bottles of wine were broken,” the Clearwater Police Department wrote on Facebook. “The alligator did suffer minor cuts to a shoulder, but the majority of the red liquid on the floor in the photos was wine.”
“The alligator will be taken to a private location locally to rest and recover from what the trapper described as a traumatic experience for the gator,” the Clearwater Police Department said in a statement released to The Dodo.
Some commenters on Facebook are asking if the gator will be charged with breaking and entering. The police department responded that trespassing would actually be a more appropriate charge for the reptile’s transgressions.
For now, however, they are letting him go with just a warning.