Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

11-foot alligator shows up at Tampa woman's doorstep

An 11-foot gator at Belinda Donaldson’s door Thursday.

Photo by Belinda Donaldson

An 11-foot gator at Belinda Donaldson’s door Thursday.

Before she even thought to leave her Westwood Lakes home Thursday morning, Belinda Donaldson got a call from a neighbor telling her that would be a bad idea.

When she looked through the window, she saw what he was talking about: an 11-foot alligator parked on her doorstep.

"We have a lot of lakes in the neighborhood so I'd seen some smaller gators before," Donaldson said. "But nothing as big as that."

Neighbors in the northwest Hillsborough County subdivision called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about 10 a.m. and a trapper came about an hour later, she said.

"It took the trapper a good hour to get the ropes around him because of the size. And then he started that death roll and the trapper had to drag him to a tree for leverage," Donaldson said.

After some uncertainty, the trapper, with the help of Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies, loaded the big guy into a truck and carted him away.

"One of my neighbors joked with me, 'I know you're a Gators fan, but I think you've taken it too far,' " said Donaldson, a University of Florida alum.

11-foot alligator shows up at Tampa woman's doorstep 04/23/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 24, 2009 2:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida softball returns to World Series; FSU baseball in ACC title game


    GAINESVILLE — Florida defeated Alabama 2-1 Saturday to win the deciding Game 3 of their softball Super Region, putting the Gators in the Women's College World Series for the eighth time in program history.

    ’NOLE POWER: FSU’s Dylan Busby, right, is congratulated by teammate Taylor Walls after Busby’s homer against Duke.
  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Christian to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a perfect 30-0 …

    Matheu Nelson of Calvary Christian celebrates scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning.
  4. Mayor: Men stabbed after anti-Muslin rant died as 'heroes' (w/video)


    PORTLAND, Ore. — Police said Saturday they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of an Oregon man accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to intervene when the suspect yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train.

    A sign of thanks rests against a traffic light pole at a memorial outside the transit center on Saturday in Portland, Ore. [Associated Press]
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”