Police remove alligator from ocean on north end of Myrtle Beach
A lost alligator decided to go for a dip in unfamiliar waters Friday in Myrtle Beach.
Authorities went to an area on the north end of Myrtle Beach for the report of an alligator sighting. The gator was found swimming in the Atlantic Ocean near 69th Avenue North, according to Cpl. Thomas Vest with Myrtle Beach police.
Lifeguard on duty Vance Summers told The Sun News a toddler approached him around 4 p.m. to tell him she spotted an alligator in the ocean. While he didn’t believe it at first, he was shocked when he saw the alligators head popping out of the water, especially because it was his first day on the job.
“I just came down here and looked and it’s in knee deep water going around and I tried to get everyone out (of the water),” Summers said. “I was pretty shocked. I thought it’d be a shark or a stingray, I didn’t think a gator would be out here.”
Myrtle Beach police officers wrangled the gator out of shallow water and dragged it up into a department pickup truck near Monteray Bay.
Onlookers cheered and clapped as police completed the removal.
Myrtle Beach police hasn’t responded to inquiry regarding the alligators fate now that it’s been captured.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Assistant Wildlife Chief Will Dillman told The Sun News this week that it’s protocol for an alligator to be killed after it’s captured. SCDNR recently suspended its contract with The Snake Chaser, a local reptile wrangler, for not killing the creatures after capture.
“The reasons we typically don’t allow relocation is because we don’t know the history of these animals, we don’t know if they’ve been habituated to humans or pose a threat,” Dillman said. “They also tend to wander back to where they’re originally captured.”