Gator At The Door

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Monday, July 11, 2011 - 12:09pm

Barefoot alligator wrangler traps seven-foot reptile.

10 year-old Camillo Villegas didn't want to listen to his mother at first.

She was telling him to come over to the window and see what was outside their Boca Raton, Florida home.

Reluctantly, he ambled over to the window and what he saw nearly freaked him out.

"It was just laying there sunning," said Villegas.

It was a 7-foot alligator wandering around the Country Park community of Boca Raton just west of the Turnpike.

Word spread fast about the visitor and Villegas knew what it meant.

"Nobody can visit us," lamented Villegas.

Certainly no one was visiting Jeffrey Herr's house after the gator decided to crawl up to his front door.

As deputies set up a perimeter in the neighborhood, Bryan Mudd, an alligator control agent with the Division of Fish and Wildlife, went to work.

He crept up behind the gator and snagged him with a leash.

Mudd, who's been with the state about a year, said he ran right out of his flip flops.

Neighbors gasped as Mudd placed his bare foot on the gators mouth to close it.

"Once you get his mouth taped, he's pretty much safe," said Mudd.

There was a brief struggle, but in the end it was man over reptile.

"You drag it, you let it get tired so when it's tired it's easier to handle.. I let it beat itself up," said Mudd.

Mudd said he wasn't scared as the gator hissed at him.

"Big lizards.. that's all they are," said Mudd.

Mudd was also pretty nonchalant about his work.

"Get after it, rope it and throw it in the truck that's all," he said.

Because the alligator was more than five feet long, it will be processed for its hide and meat.
 

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