(UPI) A large alligator was rescued after spending several days trapped in a storm drain in a residential Florida neighborhood.
Louis Fernandez of Westchester, in Miami-Dade County, said he and friend Javier Alvarez were playing catch in their neighborhood when they spotted an animal in a storm drain that they initially mistook for a turtle.
"The nose is moving and breathing and I'm like that's not a turtle, that's when we figured out that it's a gator," Fernandez told WPLG-TV.
Residents noticed the alligator was still there days later, leading them to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Commission officers determined that the alligator, which was 8 to 11 feet long, appeared to be trapped in the drain, so Miami-Dade County Public Works was called in to flush the storm drain with water.
"We called public works, and they used some water pumps to push water through the storm drain," officer Ron Washington said. It went to the positive outflow into the canal and eventually the gator did swim back into the canal.
Washington said officers were not able to capture the gator, but they consider the rescue to be a success.
"Any day where nobody is hurt and no animals are hurt, then our mission has been fulfilled. We're the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and protecting our natural resources is number one and public safety, also," Washington told WSVN-TV.Copyright 2021 by United Press International