Alligator found in Suwanee
2-foot reptile hanging out in home's front yard

SUWANEE - See you later, alligator.

Police made quick work Sunday afternoon of a reptilian intruder found chilling out in a Suwanee resident's front yard.

At two feet long, the animal was hardly a beast. Truth be told, it could've been mistaken for a realistic bath toy. But the critter warranted some crafty maneuvering before four officers were able to capture it in a large dog crate.

"It's not your normal complaint," Suwanee police spokesman Capt. Clyde Byers said.

Barking dogs alerted residents on Colony Point that something was amiss about 5 p.m. The neighborhood, situated off Settles Bridge Road, is home to a sizable pond and sits a stone's throw from the Chattahoochee River, Byers said.

But police aren't sure how the extroverted creature made its way to suburbia. Byers theorizes it was probably an overgrown souvenir.

"The only way I can figure is that it's something somebody bought as a baby down in Florida," he said. "Then it got a couple feet big, and you say, you know, 'This booger's getting a little big.'

"I imagine it could do some damage."

Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources retrieved the animal from police Monday.

"At this point, we're trying to find an appropriate, licensed facility to take it to, maybe in another state," DNR spokesman Rick Lavender said.

Lavender said, in general, alligator habitats are found south of Georgia's fall line, a swooping break in elevation and climate that runs through Columbus, Macon and Augusta.

"Occasionally we have the situation where someone has one and turns it loose," Lavender said. "(But) the environment's too cold in the winter, the water's too cold."

The Suwanee alligator's brethren in Lake Lanier apparently didn't get that memo.

First spotted by a biologist earlier this month, the elusive alligator was spotted again Sunday and Monday lurking near the Flat Creek area in Gainesville. Lavender said the animal poses little threat to swimmers. It's about three feet long, and most of that's tail.

"We're going to make some more attempts to try to trap it," Lavender said. "It doesn't pose any threats, but with any wild animal, you give it some distance."