SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla. — Dealing with alligators is nothing new for police officers in Davie, Florida, but Wednesday’s capture marks their biggest catch yet, CBS Miami station WFOR-TV reports.
An 11-foot, 450-pound alligator was spotted near a canal near a bike trail frequently traversed by adults and children alike.
“Probably the largest alligator that I’ve encountered out on the roadways and actually in Davie in my 19 years of experience with the road patrol,” Officer Anthony Berardo said.
Ariel Gonzalez first saw the massive reptile and called 911.
“I was shocked, I literally was shocked,” said Gonzalez. “I made the U-turn because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
He spotted the gator along the bank of the canal, afraid for all the people who use the path above the canal for jogging, horseback riding and fishing.
“I send my kids with the golf cart here with their fishing rods,” Gonzalez said. “I’ll never do that again.”
The canal where the gator was caught is close to Falcon Cove Middle School and Cypress Bay High School.
“Colossal, that’s the first thing that came to mind was colossal,” said high school student Richard Leon. “Prehistoric. Something massive and crazy. Kinda scary but at least they caught it.”
Parents couldn’t help but think of the gator attack on a toddler earlier this year at a Walt Disney World resort.
“It’s very dangerous, and it’s very scary,” said Sandra Fagan. “Unfortunately with kids, sometimes they’re not aware of the dangers, and they’re just walking around. Sometimes they’re on their phone and they’re not paying attention.”
After some twists and turns from a grumpy gator, and with the help of the Davie PD, a trapper was finally able to subdue the animal.
“It’s one of a kind of a call,” said Officer D. Perez. “And it took a great team effort, and we’re able to save some lives hopefully.”