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10-foot alligator makes itself at home in Palm Harbor

PALM HARBOR — A wildlife trapper captured a 10-foot long alligator that was roaming a Palm Harbor neighborhood Wednesday, authorities said.

A resident of the 3200 block of Marion Drive called the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office about 5 p.m. to report the gator.

"A neighbor saw the alligator moving along across the street," said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda. "By the time the deputy got there, the alligator was already on this patio area."

Deputies notified the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which sent trapper Charles Carpenter.

Carpenter was able to corral the reptile and load him into a trailer within about five minutes, he said. No one was injured.

The alligator weighed "a couple hundred pounds" and likely came from nearby Lake Tarpon.

The house is "probably less than a block away from a canal," Carpenter said.

Carpenter said he wasn't sure of the alligator's gender.

"I asked it how much it weighed and it wouldn't tell me, so it was probably a girl," he said.

Nuisance gators are "processed for their meat and hide," said commission spokesman Gary Morse.

Or, as Carpenter put it:

"It's headed to the restaurant prep area."

Fast facts

What to do

To report an alligator 4 feet or longer that poses a threat to you, your pets or your property, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline toll-free at 1-866-392-4286.

10-foot alligator makes itself at home in Palm Harbor 12/10/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 10, 2009 8:05pm]
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