Imagine looking outside your window and seeing an alligator slithering across your lawn.
Well, that’s what happened to a Michigan homeowner this week.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office was called to a home in Hanover Township to pick up an alligator after the homeowner saw it crawl out of a pond in her yard.
The sheriff’s office brought the alligator to the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary in Athens.
Park Manager Peter Critchlow said the young gator, which he estimates is between 8 and 12 years old based on his size, (4 feet) has found a new home there. Fully grown alligators are between 15 and 16 feet long and can live anywhere between 80 to 100 years.
Critchlow says the alligator will be placed in “elementary school” at the sanctuary, along with 30 other alligators its size and will learn new skills such as colors, its name and how to move between its indoor and outdoor habitats.
Also, a chip has been implanted into the alligator and it's been named Walenga.
There are more than 150 alligators at the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary, but Peter estimates there are anywhere between 3,000-5,000 pet alligators living in Michigan, and it’s not uncommon for them to escape.
“They end up getting to be too much and many escape,” he said.
It’s legal to own a pet alligator in Michigan, but many counties and cities have ordinances and restrictions against them.
Critchlow does not suggest taking in these 40-million-year-old animals as pets.
Also, this week, an alligator was found dead on the side of the road in Michigan after it was hit by a car.