Florida authorities are called in to deal with problem alligators all the time, but in one Miami townhome complex officials allege that people — not the reptile — may have been the troublemakers.
A call from the Southwest Miami-Dade neighborhood appropriately named Snapper Village led authorities to a tree, where they found a nine-foot gator tied to a tree.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responders believe residents thought the gator was a threat to area pets and people. However, taking matters into their own hands wasn't the right thing to do, officials said.
"Whoever did this tied the alligator up incorrectly, causing some damage to the skin, stressing the alligator out," FWC officer Lorenzo Veloz told WSVN.
While residents insist the gator had been menacing neighborhood ducks and was a threat to dogs, Veloz said his agency is there to help in such situations.
“We obviously ask everyone to, please, if you do come across an alligator, reach out to FWC. We will take care of him," he said.
What's more, the fact that someone in Snapper Village lassoed the beast themselves raises the possibility of legal action.
If officials discover who tied up the gator, that person or people could face criminal charges, According to the FWC.
As for the gator, officials will reportedly decide whether to transport it to a farm or release it back into the wild.