A Hamilton family got quite an unusual visitor to their east-end home
A five-foot alligator settled in before Animal Control captured it.
City animal control officers had to corral a five-foot-long alligator Tuesday after a surprised family found it in their east end backyard.
Walter Ertsinian said his two daughters, 11 and 18, had just exited a backyard pool when they spotted the rogue reptile beside the family’s Webster Road home around 5:30 p.m.
“I guess they stared at it for a while because it was so still,” he said, adding they huddled to discuss whether he might have bought a fake animal as a pool toy or gag. “Then it moved its head.”
Ertsinian — who was preparing to celebrate his 25th anniversary — called 911 about the gator and was told to “keep and eye on it but also not to get too close,” while police called animal control.
In the meantime, Ertsinian tried to build a barrier out of lumber and a kid-sized picnic table to discourage the reptile from bolting. He said his family considers the experience “memorable” rather than scary.
An animal services officer arrived by 6:30 p.m. and cheerfully corralled the gator with the help of a long-handled snare. “He (the alligator) didn’t like that too much and starting hissing quite a bit,” said Ertsinian, who praised the “efficient” operation.
Animal services staff posted photos — and video taken by Ertsinian — of the gator-whispering adventure of “Officer Matt,” who can be seen carefully manoeuvring the reptile at pole distance.
Animal services didn’t know Wednesday how the impressively toothy reptile ended up outside the home. But the Facebook post notes the species is banned under Hamilton’s animal control bylaw.
Ertsinian figures a bylaw-leery pet owner dumped the creature, but added the gator could have travelled a long way to his backyard given the nearby rail corridor and escarpment.
“I even asked my neighbour, hey, do you have an alligator as a pet?”
he said with a chuckle. “She said, ‘yeah, I have three.’
“Then I said, wow, really? And she said, ‘yeah, no.’”
An Alligator was captured by animal control outside an east end home.