Escaped pet alligator shocks Missouri man: 'There are no gators in Missouri'

·2 min read

Not all pets are cuddly.

A Missouri resident said he was shocked when he noticed an alligator on his property, especially since gators don’t live in the area. Fortunately, due to some quick thinking, the animal was contained and nobody was injured.

Chris Suljack, of Wildwood, spoke with Fox News and explained that he was mowing the lawn when he saw something in the creek on his property. While he recognized it as an alligator tail, he initially had trouble getting his family to believe him.

As Suljack explained, he’s a bit of jokester. So when he yelled out and his family asked what was wrong, they likely assumed he was pranking them.

Suljack explained to Fox, "There are no gators in Missouri."

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The family gathered around the creek, and within minutes, the gator surfaced on the other side.

Suljack said he’d never wrangled a gator before, but he knew enough not to try wrestling it himself. He tied a dog leash to a line man’s pool his father had brought over and used it to snare the gator by the neck.

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An animal rescue officer eventually came by and the gator was transported to a nearby animal rescue. The gator measured 54 inches long and weighed about 50 pounds, Fox 2 reports.

Suljack says he later learned the animal was actually a pet that belongs to one of his neighbors. The gator had apparently climbed over a fence and escaped from its owner’s property. It was on the loose for two weeks before it was spotted. It has since been returned to its owner.

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In Missouri, its legal to own a gator as a pet, provided that it’s not too large. While Suljack said there was no warning that the animal had gotten loose, he’s spoken with the owner and is confident he’s taking steps to prevent the gator from getting loose again.

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