Florida firefighters are used to dealing with emergencies, but wrangling alligators in their own station house isn’t usually in the job description.
But on Thursday evening, a medium-sized gator wandered in to the South Trail Fire Department Station 64 in Fort Myers, so these first responders were the ones calling for help.
According to the station’s Facebook page, a firefighter walked outside to retrieve the American flag at 5 p.m. and found “Ally” or “Albert” hanging out by the front entrance.
Pictures on the post show the reptile in various areas of the station entrance, and it looked as if it wanted to stay awhile.
Amy Bollen, spokeswoman for Station 64, told the Miami Herald that the gator was right near the entrance just “sitting out there.”
She said this was the first alligator the station had ever spotted. The building is nowhere near water, but is close to an elementary school.
“We don’t know where he came from and were very confused,” she said.
The station quickly got an assist from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“While we waited for the FWC, three big firefighters stood over the alligator so he couldn’t walk off,” Bollen said. “He happily put himself in the corner and wasn’t aggressive at all.”
An updated FB post a few hours later thanked the agency for safely relocating the little guy (or gal) to “an appropriate place.”
“Alligator mating season usually starts in May,” it said, “but it’s obvious some are getting an early start.”
Some social media users couldn’t resist the urge to make light of the potentially dangerous situation in the comments section.
“I guess that gator was a ‘hottie’ and need to cool her/his tail,” wrote one.
Another offered up the suggestion that Ally/Albert could be the new mascot.
That’s not likely.
“We have never seen an alligator before here and hope we don’t see one again anytime soon,” Bollen said.
To report nuisance alligators in your area, call the FWC’s hotline at 866-392-4286.