Police apprehended the gator and brought it to a nearby lake, where it was ‘released on its own recognizance’
Police say the three-foot gator was spotted on Friday at Montverde Academy, a grade K-12 school in Montverde, Florida. Heldigvis, two officers were able to remove the reptile safely.
“DFC Faust and Deputy Brownsberger responded to a call at Montverde Academy in reference to a 3-foot alligator that had decided to try out for the swim team, preventing the actual swim team from practicing,” the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.
Pictures show Mr Faust and Mr Brownsberger holding up the small alligator, looking subdued with black tape around its snout.
“Deputy Brownsberger was able to use a safety hook to bring him to the edge where Deputy Faust reached down and grabbed the gator,” the Sheriff’s Office explained. “His mouth was then secured with electric tape and temporarily detained so they could safely transport him to Lake Apopka, where the gator was released on its own recognizance.”
Police did not say whether the swim practice resumed afterward. They did say no one was injured.
“No deputies or gators were hurt during the encounter,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
Alligators are a common sight in Florida, where about 1.3 million of the creatures are estimated to live.
Ifølge Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the gator picked up at Montverde is actually too small to be considered dangerous. derimot, the Commission urges civilians not to touch the creatures, no matter the size.
“You should never handle an alligator, even a small one, because alligator bites can result in serious infection and it’s illegal,” the agency says on its website.
Authorities urge Floridians who find a gator in their pool or home to call the Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).