HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Using a broom, a Hillsborough County deputy wrangled an alligator and released it back into a pond on Thursday.
The sheriff’s office said Deputy Wheaton, Deputy Noland and Deputy Morrey were called to deal with a 4-foot alligator that had wandered away from a pond, and was found sleeping under a car in a Tampa neighborhood.
Wheaton, who is no stranger to alligators, having just relocated a 10-foot one in April, took charge, and used the broom to guide the reptile in the right direction. The gator latched onto the broom and went for a joyride back to the pond.
Deputies are using the encounter to remind residents it’s still alligator mating season.
They advised residents to keep a safe distance, keep their pets on a leash, and swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight. If you see an alligator, don’t feed or touch it, and call the sheriff’s office non-emergency number at 813-247-8200 or call the FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4296.