PARKLAND — A Broward County family started Mother's Day with a surprise on the front porch: An 8-foot alligator hissing back at them.
At first the family of Alfonso Castaneda of Parkland thought the gator hanging out on Sunday morning was a prank and that the gator was a fake. They soon realized it wasn't and called wildlife officials to have the nuisance gator removed.
Paul Bedard, of Animal Planet's Gator Boys, pulled the gator out of the porch by dragging it by its tail even as the gator kept snapping its mouth at the skilled trapper. A reporter with WPLG-TV in South Florida went live on the air as Bedard circled the gator on the grass in an attempt to tire him out.
"It's basically doing an alligator show at this point," Bedard told WPLG TV.
A few minutes later, the gator's mouth had been taped shut and then bagged.
It was not known how the gator made its way to the porch.
Bedard said the gator will be taken to Everglades Holiday Park for evaluation.
Under the so-called State Nuisance Alligator Program, if the state receives a complaint about a gator from a homeowner, it can send a trapper to catch and kill the reptile if it's over 4 feet long. If it's under 4 feet, the alligator is trapped and relocated.
The trappers are allowed to sell the bigger gators' meat and hide, and are reimbursed $30 per animal by the state.
Florida has a healthy and stable alligator population, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the removal of nuisance gators does not have a significant impact on the population in Florida.