A family in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina was rudely awakened early Sunday morning by an alligator that managed to climb onto the second-floor porch of its home.
According to the Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, Susie Polston barricaded her family in her bedroom when she heard noises coming from the porch on Sunday, fearing a robbery. But her fears quickly shifted when her son found himself face-to-face with the 10-foot-long gator.
According to WCBD, the gator was able to climb a back stairwell and make its way through an aluminum screen door before camping out out on the porch. Polston suspects the animal lived in a pond at a nearby golf course, but told the Post and Courier she had never seen an alligator get past the fencing surrounding the course.
Polston called Ronnie Russell of Gator Getter Consultants, who spent hours trying to coax the reptile off the porch and back to his home. When they couldn’t convince the gator to move away from the home, they were forced to call the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
The alligator was eventually euthanized before being removed from the porch. According to the Post and Courier, state law requires that nuisance-trapped alligators be put down. While the Polstons didn’t want to see the animal killed, the only other choice was to let the potentially dangerous animal leave on its own — something that could have take days.
Polston says the family will invest in a more secure screen door and a gate for the stairwell to prevent future visits from alligators.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.