Alligator On Leash Walked By Police Officers In North Carolina

By Mark Price

This 9-foot alligator was led away on a leash after it was caught trying to get into a community pool in Sunset Beach, N.C.
This 9-foot alligator was led away on a leash after it was caught trying to get into a community pool in Sunset Beach, N.C. Sunset Beach Police Department photo

An absurd social media photo of a law enforcement officer walking an alligator on a leash is 100% real, and it was taken during an equally strange incident Friday in Sunset Beach, North Carolina.

The mischievous alligator was under arrest, sort of, after it began trotting through the Oyster Pointe at Sea Trail community and tried getting into the pool, according to the Sunset Beach Police Department. The town is about 170 miles southeast of Raleigh.

“Officers ... were dispatched to Oyster Bay Drive for complaints of a 9-foot alligator walking through the neighborhood,” the department wrote on Facebook.

“The alligator had also attempted entry into the community pool area. When officers arrived, the alligator had broken through porch lattice at the reservation office.”

It’s not clear what the alligator wanted in the office, but officers deemed it a neighborhood threat and corralled the reptile.

Details of the capture were not released, but the photo shows it was cooperating as officers led it through the parking lot. “The gator was relocated to a nearby pond,” officials said.

Police posted the photo Thursday, and it quickly took off on social media, racking up hundreds of reactions and comments in just a few hours. This included a lot of trick-or-treat references and jokes about the photo showing five cops are needed to take one alligator for a walk.

“I would get one instead of a dog but takes too many people to walk it,” Jay Sawyer wrote.

“I’m amazed he is leash trained!” Connie Leeds posted.

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“Apparently, the Sunset Beach Police Department has upgraded their K-9 team,” Jamie Moncrief said.

Alligators are native to North Carolina and are found mostly along the coast. Males get as big as 13 feet and 500 pounds in North Carolina, the state says.

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This story was originally published October 21, 2021 6:47 PM.

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