A 4- to 5-foot alligator had to be removed from an Estero construction site on Friday morning.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the report came in around 8 a.m. Deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the site on Via Rapallo Drive and a contracted nuisance alligator trapper was dispatched.
It was a surprise for Rodney Withers, part of the construction crew that spotted the gator.
“This is the first time I actually came up close and personal,” Withers said.
The crew is working on the entrance of the Club at Rapallo’s Neighborhood in Estero.
Withers was the first to see the critter.
And even though he has lived in Florida for 15 years, this is his only encounter.
“Some miraculously way, something tells me to look his direction,” Withers said. “I look at his direction. He is on the back of his truck and the gator is here on the ground and it’s within 4 to 5 feet of him.”
While the gator is not huge, it did hiss at everyone who got near.
The gator tried to hide behind a wall but got stuck.
“He got trapped,” Withers said. “I ended up assisting Lee County sheriff department and the trapper to be able to lift him up.”
“It’s fun. A good Friday, I call it,” he added.
No one was injured and the alligator was safely removed and taken by a trapper for the Statewide Nuisance alligator Program.
It’s illegal in Florida to relocate a nuisance gator to another spot in the wild so the gator must be killed or put into captivity. The reason they can’t be released elsewhere is because they tend to return to their capture site.
People with concerns about an alligator can call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 1-866-392-4286, and a contracted nuisance alligator trapper will be sent to resolve the situation.