A fish and wildlife officer had to use a weapon to keep a Mobile neighborhood safe Tuesday and NBC15 had cameras rolling for the entire capture.
This all started when neighbors came exclusively to NBC15 for help this weekend, telling us their Threemile Creek community has been neglected by city landscapers for three months.
NBC 15 took those concerns to the City and Fish and Wildlife.
City officials have assured NBC 15 the Ridge Road and Mclean Park areas of Threemile Creek should be mowed by the end of the week. However, they say any alligator issues are not in the city’s jurisdiction.
NBC 15 called Officer Kevin Hill with Alabama Department of Conservation's Wildlife and Freshwater Fish Law Enforcement Division Tuesday and he arrived to the community shortly after.
Officer Kevin Hill has been catching alligators for 12 years. He said they rarely end with an alligator shot or killed.
“Nine times out of ten when alligators see you they turn and run the other way, they don't want to deal with humans ever,” Officer Hill said.
However, neighbors on Ridge Road say that's not the case in their community.
“I saw an alligator the other day and he was walking down the street like he has an address here,” concerned neighbor Fonda Poellintz said.
Poellintz's son took a video one week ago showing an 8 foot alligator walking along the street and residents say there's more than one lurking around their homes.
“It makes you like scared to come out the door because you never know if he's going to walk up on your porch or whatever,” Poellintz said.
It's this fear and first hand sight of an alligator that prompted NBC 15 and Officer Hill to take action quickly.
“When you called me today, I knew there was a problem out here I wanted to come address it."
The two-hour process started with some rope and a small hook and an 8 foot 300 plus pound alligator that wasn't going away without a fight.
Officer Hill swapped the small hook for a larger one and then added some chicken for bait, but these tactics didn’t work.
"Then when everybody started piling up on the hill the alligator went up and went straight to the edge and that let me know he wasn't afraid of the people and he was headed straight for them," said Officer Hill.
A safety risk that Officer Hill says only happened because someone was feeding it, making the alligator believe people are a source for food.
“When you feed the alligators you seal its fate because then they are going to get dispatched,” said Officer Hill.
An unfortunate circumstance captured first hand Tuesday, involving two gunshots to subdue this alligator.
“Now we feel a lot safer knowing the alligator that was being fed is gone,” concerned neighbor Holly Mitchell said.
Fonda: “It makes me feel better knowing someone cares about our safety,” Poellintz said.
Fish and Wildlife says there is a $500 fine for feeding alligators.