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Tampa residents find 9-foot alligator on doorstep

Wildlife sanctuary Croc Encounters captured the reptile in the Lake Magdalene area.

TAMPA — A Lake Magdalene area home drew crowds from startled passers-by Tuesday morning.

The reason? A nearly 9-foot alligator, missing two limbs, was sitting on the doorstep.

According to a Facebook post by Croc Encounters, the wildlife sanctuary received a call from the home’s residents, who could not get the alligator to move.

The residents warned people with a sign, saying “Delivery Stop! Leave Packages here! ALLIGATOR at front door!! (seriously).”

Croc Encounters directors Karina Paner, and her husband, John Paner, captured the alligator by jumping on it, restraining it and lifting it into the back of a truck. Karina Paner estimates the alligator weighed between 150 and 200 pounds.

Croc Encounters said the alligator was likely missing limbs from a fight with another alligator. He will now live at the wildlife sanctuary.

“He’s doing quite well,” Karina Paner said Friday in an interview.

Reservations for a guided tour of the facilities can be made by calling (813) 217-4400. The sanctuary is located at 8703 Bowles Road in Tampa.