NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – It was a wake up call one North Charleston couple was not expecting this morning.
Louise Monteith says, “I heard some noises from downstairs in our house, my husband and I were both asleep and I heard noise and I just assumed it was one of our cats or dogs knocking something over.”
The animal causing a ruckus was no dog or cat, but a seven-foot alligator right there on the front porch.
Monteith says her husband spotted it out the window.
She says, “I woke up about five or ten minutes later with him running upstairs, coming in the room and saying every four letter word he’s probably ever heard. Waking me up, and saying we have to call somebody, we have to call somebody.”
They called Gator Getters, a removal service contracted by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).
They think the alligator pushed his way through the railing on the porch. Monteith says she’s glad they learned he was there before opening the front door.
She says, “It could’ve been bad. It could’ve been seven o’clock and our 12-year-old or 14-year-old daughter was going out the door going to car pool, or if we had let our cat, the cat the goes outside, just let the cat out, it could’ve been a bad ending.”
Officials with SCDNR say there’s a protocol they follow if an alligator gets a little too friendly in a neighborhood.
SCDNR Lt. Angus McBride says, “It’s normally euthanized. You don’t want to relocate a nuisance animal because you are recreating someone else’s nuisance now. And they do tend to travel quite a bit, so they will end up back where you took them from.”
He says if an alligator is not afraid to be around humans, it can become a reoccuring problem and put people in danger. McBride adds this is a good reminder to leave the gators alone.
He says, “Enjoy them from a distance. Do not take photographs. Do not try to entice the alligator. Don’t try and approach the alligator by yourself. Most alligators are more afraid of you than you are of them.”
If you do find an alligator in your yard, contact SCDNR here.