Florida firefighters are used to dealing with emergencies, but arguing over alligators at their own station is usually not part of the job description.
But on Thursday night, a medium-sized alligator made its way to South Trail Fire Department Station 64 in Fort Myers, so it was these first responders who called for help.
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According to the station’s Facebook page, a firefighter came out to retrieve the American flag at 5 p.m. and found “Ally” or “Albert” hanging from the main entrance.
Photos on the post show the reptile in various areas of the station entrance, and it looked like it wanted to stay for a while.
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Amy Bollen, spokesperson for Station 64, told the Miami Herald that the alligator was right next to the entrance, just “sitting over there.”
She said it was the first alligator the station had ever spotted. The building is far from water, but is close to a primary school.
“We don’t know where he came from and we were very confused,” she said.
The station quickly got help from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“While we waited for the FWC, three large firefighters stood over the alligator so it couldn’t go,” Bollen said. “He happily stepped into the corner and wasn’t aggressive at all.”
An updated FB post a few hours later thanked the agency for safely moving the little guy (or girl) to “a suitable place.”
“Alligator mating season usually starts in May,” he says, “but it’s obvious some start early.”
Some social media users couldn’t resist the urge to shed light on the potentially dangerous situation in the comments section.
“I imagine the alligator was a ‘hottie’ and needed to cool off its tail,” one wrote.
Another suggested that Ally / Albert could be the new mascot.
It is not likely.
“We’ve never seen an alligator here before and hope we won’t see it again anytime soon,” Bollen said.
To report nuisance alligators in your area, call the FWC hotline at 866-392-4286.