WEDDINGTON, N.C. — Well, that's something you don't see every day.
A small alligator was found outside a home in Weddington Sunday afternoon, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office. It's estimated to weigh 10 to 15 pounds, and is around 2 to 3 feet long, UCSO officials say.
Dan Tedja, along with his 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son, walked outside on their driveway to play basketball when Tedja spotted something underneath a chair.
"I saw this reptile thing,” Tedja said. “I thought it was an iguana."
Tedja was soon face-to-face with a small alligator. He said it looked like the alligator had tried to crawl behind the chair for some shade.
"It was kind of surreal and nervous because, you know, we moved down from Northern Virginia and then we never saw anything like that,” Tedja said.
His first concern was making sure his children were safe from the animal before calling Animal Control to come out.
“I was nervous mostly for the kids because they play around, outside the house a lot,” he said.
Once at the house, Animal Control deputies gave the gator some water to cool it off before taking it away.
North Carolina Wildlife Officers took custody of the alligator from there.
R.W. Prince, a wildlife officer who wrangled the gator, said it’s not typical to find this kind of animal in a residential neighborhood.
"Here they shouldn't see them except for going to a Discovery Place or the Asheboro zoo,” he said.
Prince said officers are still working to find out where the alligator came from and how it wound up in the neighborhood, but he said he doesn’t believe it’s wild.
"We don't know if it's an 'Oops, got out' or out of its container,” Prince said, "Or if it's a local or somebody's pet.”
Prince said he wasn’t aware of any licenses for alligators in the area near the subdivision where the one on Sunday was found.
The alligator will most likely be headed to a new home at Alligator Adventures in Myrtle Beach, Prince said.
The public can report any wildlife violations to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at 1-800-662-7137.
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