SYKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A wild and shocking discovery in Sykesville: an alligator is found roaming in a family’s yard.
Linh Bui explains what happened next.
In a quiet Carroll County neighborhood, there was a stunning discovery.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Jane Ferguson. “They don’t live in this area. It’s just a freaky thing!”
That drew mixed reactions.
“I wanted to take it home,” said Kennedi Okunola.
“Adorable little thing,” Ferguson said.
“Actually, I was afraid of it,” said Sheldon Smarr.
It’s something people here have never seen before.
“I’ve never seen an alligator on dry land like that,” Smarr said.
That’s right–an alligator.
“It was a really nice alligator,” Okunola said.
It’s a 2-year-old male, only two and a half feet long–for now. He could reach 12 to 15 feet when he’s fully grown.
It was actually the family’s dog who found the alligator right outside the house.
“It gave me the creeps, because I didn’t know if there was another one around, or the mother,” Ferguson said.
The gator was taken to Frisky’s Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary in Woodstock. It was dehydrated but will be fine.
“He thought he had squatter’s rights, I guess, on someone else’s property,” said Colleen Layton, Frisky’s.
They think the gator was someone’s pet and either got away or was turned loose. It’s illegal to have exotic wildlife in captivity.
“They need to be with their own kind, out where they belong,” Layton said.
Some were sad to see it go.
“She did ask me if she could keep it and the answer was no. Never,” Smarr said.
“The guy said `Why don’t you put it in your pool?’ and I said, `Why don’t you put it in your bathtub?'” Ferguson said.
But most never want to see it again.
“I hope that’s the first and last,” Smarr said.
The gator will eventually go to Alligator Adventure, an animal park in South Carolina that’s billed as the “reptile capital of the world.”
Wildlife officials say owning a gator is obviously unsafe. Even at this small size, those teeth can cause a bad infection if you get bitten.