Alligator pulled out of pond behind Michigan junior high

Alligator seen in Michigan pond near junior high

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WTVG) - After crews drained the pond behind Bedford Junior High School, experts were able to wrangle the out-of-place reptile on Friday.

The estimated 3-foot long American alligator was spotted Thursday, and the school had to keep students away.

They called in area zoologists to help remove it.

But many wonder: How did an alligator end up in a Michigan pond in the first place?

According to Joe Garverick, who owns the Indian Park Zoo, it likely started as someone's pet.

“It got loose or somebody let it loose - one or the other,” Garverick told WTVG.

The alligator was first spotted by a teacher in the pond behind the school, which is sometimes used by biology students in both the Junior and Senior High Schools for academic study.

Experts say no one was in any immediate danger, unless they provoked the alligator.

"It's pretty small," Garverick says. "They're not going to get near it right now. But as the temperature drops, it'll go dormant. If a kid gets brave and picks it up, it will snap."

Garverick attempted to catch the alligator with his bare hands on Thursday, but it was too quick.

Garverick says he's got a home at Indian Creek for the gator.

"We'll take him over there. We've got three gators right now: We've got Gatorade, Powerade, and Koolaide. So we'll have to figure out a name for this one," he said.

Garverick and his team is pretty familiar with the pond involved.

“We’ve come over here and gotten some big snapping turtles out of the way, and different things, usually it’s hawks and owls and stuff. But this is our first gator,” he said.

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