Tuesday, April 01, 2008

'Very large' gator collared on U.S. 441


BY WALTER MICHOT AND ERIKA BERAS
Why did the alligator cross the road? Cops don't know, but authorities collared the nine footer Tuesday morning after a half-hour standoff that slowed traffic to a crawl on U.S. 441.
The gator was spotted about 7:15 a.m. at U.S. 441 and Bailey Road. The reptile was seen by construction workers, who called 911, bringing the Broward Sheriff's Office to the scene.
''This is the Broward's Sheriff's Office,'' a deputy said into a bullhorn. ``Get back into the canal!''
The alligator defied orders.
The deputy continued: ``Move back! Move back!''
The alligator didn't exactly obey, although it did eventually meander about 100 feet or so. It migrated from the pavement of U.S. 441 to the sidewalk along the busy road. Traffic was reduced to one lane as the alligator stood its ground.
''It's very large,'' said BSO spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright. ``At one point, it was next to a BSO motorcycle deputy and it was bigger than the motorcycle.''
Finally trappers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission came and captured the animal with a snare-like device. They taped its mouth shut, hoisted it into the back of a pickup truck and traffic resumed.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro said the alligator measures 9.5 feet and can't be relocated. Instead, it will be harvested for its skin and meat.

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