MELBOURNE, Fla. — Residents at a Florida apartment complex found a strange visitor at their home this week.
About 3:30 p.m. Monday, two Cocoa police officers arrived at a University Lane apartments in Cocoa to find a 9-foot alligator on the porch doorstep after receiving calls about the denizen of a nearby pond.
Nobody was injured, attacked or even particularly alarmed.
"He was just sitting their minding his own business," said Cpl. John Picheco, one of the officers who helped with the gator's removal. For Picheco, it was his eighth call to help with a gator removal.
"I guess for people in Florida it's kind of old hat. I'm sure people in Colorado get a big moose on their front doorstep and it's not a big deal to them," Picheco said.
The officers called a state gator trapper, who then safely removed the gator.
Picheco and Officer Samir Palino helped the trapper by using a rope to tether the massive creature and keep it from endangering itself or others.
Cocoa Police Department spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said the apartment complex was not immune to gators.
A smaller one was spotted there last year, and signs around the complex warn of possible gators.
Officials said that it is common for gators to wander in search of water during the hotter, drier months.
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