A Missouri man who heard a splash in the creek behind his home ended up capturing an alligator that had been on the loose for two weeks.
Chris Suljak said he was trimming the trees in the yard of his Wildwood, St. Louis County, home on Sunday when he heard splashing in the nearby creek.
“As I turned I happened to see a tail go into the water and it looked exactly like an alligator tail,” he told KMOV-TV.
Suljak said he watched the creek for 15 minutes until the animal again resurfaced and he was surprised to discover it was indeed a 4 1/2-foot alligator.
Suljak and another witness affixed a dog leash to the end of a long pole and were able to snare the gator and bring it to shore.
The men contacted the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline, which sent someone to take custody of the reptile. The rescue group said the alligator is privately owned and was returned to its owner.
Suljak said he later heard from the alligator’s owner, a neighbor who said the reptile had been on the loose for about two weeks after escaping from its enclosure.