'Big Boy' Alligator Removed from Texas Neighborhood with Tow Truck After 'Morning Stroll'

·2 min read

It took some heavy machinery to remove a massive reptilian visitor from a peaceful Houston suburb on Monday morning.

Police officers in Katy, Texas, relocated an alligator weighing at least 400 pounds and measuring close to 11 feet from the area's Cinco Ranch neighborhood with the help of a tow truck and some alligator wranglers, according to Fox Weather.

Residents spotted the animal walking near the neighborhood's homes around 7:40 a.m., Fort Bend County Precinct 1 Constable Chad Norvell told the Houston Chronicle.

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He added that the alligator was trapped four hours later with assistance from licensed trappers with Texas Parks and Wildlife, who relocated the reptile to a sanctuary in El Campo.

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Norvell also shared a video of the alligator on social media, which shows the creature slowly walking alongside a brick wall. "Beautiful morning for a walk! This morning along Peek Rd near Buffalo Bayou," he wrote with the post.

In a video of the incident obtained by PEOPLE, the creature is wrangled, has its mouth taped shut, and is hoisted into the back of a vehicle by a tow truck. Michael Schwab, who posted a video of the alligator relocation on Twitter, said the gator was captured after "taking a morning stroll near neighborhoods and a busy street."

Norvell explained to Fox Weather: "Believe it or not, our dispatcher just asked on the radio for a friendly wrecker — one that would come and help at no charge. Which he did, probably a first for him, I'm sure, to use his winch to lift that alligator to the back of the truck."

He told CNN that the alligator is likely closer to 1,100 pounds after previous reports had the animal weighing in at 400 pounds, noting that the reptile "was much bigger than we originally thought. He was definitely a big boy."

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Additionally, Norvell explained that alligators are "not uncommon" to the area but will usually not bother people who don't bother them, and they "don't see people as a food source until people start feeding them," adding: "If you have water around here, you typically have an alligator. So, in their habitat, leave them alone. In a neighborhood, give us a call."

"They wander from their areas, looking for a mate," Norvell told The Chronicle. "We always want to emphasize that alligators are native to the area, so people shouldn't be alarmed when they see them. And usually, if you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone."