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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]
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