In South Carolina’s Lowcountry, alligators serve as ambassadors of spring. Warming temperatures mean these creatures pop up in all sorts of places: ponds, beaches … and, apparently, at the front door.
Yes, an alligator casually sauntered to the porch of a house in Moncks Corner on Monday, climbed up the front door and attempted to ring the doorbell — which, to be fair, is kind of pleasant, right? No one says hello to neighbors anymore!
Gary Rogers passed by the scene while walking his dog, so he stopped to film the reptile’s neighborly gesture.
“The gator was not aggressive at all,” Rogers told WCIV.
The alligator appeared to have gotten lost in the maze of human homes. “He was walking around in front of a couple of houses down in the cul-de-sac area,” Rogers said. “He was just kind of trying to find his way out. I mean, he was caught between fences, in between a couple of houses. Had no place to go. Went around the air conditioner a couple of times.”
Jamie Weathersbee-Bailey wasn’t home when the alligator attempted to pay her a visit, but her dog was, she told the Post and Courier. She said she was “in disbelief” when she received the video.
“From what I hear, the gator walked past all the construction crews building houses down the road like it was nothing,” Weathersbee-Bailey told the newspaper. “Who knows? He may come back for another visit.”
Alligator sightings are not uncommon in South Carolina.
Decades ago, the American alligator was nearing extinction, but the species has since made quite the comeback — “one of the first endangered species success stories,” according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Today, an estimated 100,000 American alligators live in South Carolina, according to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). That means human-alligator interactions happen from time to time, and there’s a phone number you can call in South Carolina to complain about gators.
The state now has annual hunts, “seen as an attempt to maintain the number of nuisance alligator complaints at a manageable level,” according to the DNR. That policy has generated some concern from those who worry that older and larger alligators will be wiped out by hunting.
“Nuisance” alligators used to be removed, but the animals’ population size has made it difficult to find isolated — and human-free — areas for relocation.
Alligators can be quite territorial, and the ones that have been fed by humans “are particularly dangerous because they quickly associate people with food and will aggressively approach them,” the South Carolina state park system notes.
These “apex predators” snack mostly on “fish, turtles, snakes and small mammals,” according to National Geographic. “However, they are opportunists, and a hungry gator will eat just about anything, including carrion, pets and, in rare instances, humans.”
Alligator attacks happen from time to time in South Carolina.