Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. Plan your weekend Aug. 18-20: Elvis in concert, Jason Aldean, Monster Jam Triple Threat, Sing-Along Grease

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    The king

    Elvis: Live in Concert: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, and Ruth Eckerd Hall will have a Graceland-produced Elvis concert on a movie screen, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Graceland calls it the closest audiences …

    Handout photos of Elvis: Live in Concert, a tour spectacle featuring a live orchestra backing the voice of Elvis Presley, projected onto a movie screen. The tour comes to Ruth Eckerd Hall on 8/18/17. Credit: Graceland.
  2. Woman convicted in murder of 18-year-old with cerebral palsy gets lighter term

    Criminal

    TAMPA — Linda Bonck, a 90-pound Chamberlain High School senior with cerebral palsy, lived near Tampa's Lowry Park. She struggled to walk and talk but was known for being friendly and trusting of strangers until she vanished one day in 1992.

    Georgia Miller, 39, was convicted for the 1992 murder of Linda Bonck, an 18-year-old Chamberlain High School student who had cerebral palsy. Originally sentenced to life in prison, Miller was resentenced Wednesday to 65 years, the result of U.S. and Florida Supreme Court decisions that found it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life. With gain time, Miller will be released from prison in the next six years. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  3. Boynton Beach woman arrested on DUI, child abuse charges

    Criminal

    A Boynton Beach woman was arrested Saturday and faces DUI and child abuse charges after she blew a .200 on a breath test with an unbuckled child in the backseat, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

    Brandy Lerma, 31 of Boynton Beach, was arrested on DUI and child abuse charges on Saturday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Editorial: Why can't Hillsborough commissioners move Confederate monument?

    Editorials

    The violence in Charlottesville, Va., crystallized for much of the nation the danger of refusing to address painful symbols of the past. But not so in Hillsborough County, where the County Commission on Wednesday reversed itself yet again and left open the possibility of leaving a Confederate monument outside the …

  5. Former WTSP employee sues station's parent companies for gender discrimination

    Civil

    A former director at WTSP-Ch. 10 has sued the station's parent companies, claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination.