Too close for comfort

We’ve had quite a lot of rain here lately, and the exposed sand bank where Mr. A enjoyed his sunbathing sessions, is now submerged. Looking across the pond yesterday, hubby called to me, “What’s that on the grass over there?”


It could have just been an Anhinga drying its wings, but on closer inspection, it turned out to be Mr. A who had somehow hauled himself out of the water and plonked himself down right in the neighbour’s backyard.


I couldn’t see his head, but estimate him to be 10-12 feet long. Talking to my friend yesterday evening, she told me that they’ve recently had two alligators removed from their immediate area, and gave me a number to call, but reading this article, I don’t think I’d have the heart to report Mr. A, knowing that he’d be taken away to be turned into “meat and hide.” What do you think?


127 comments on “Too close for comfort

  1. Having Mr A as your first neighbour does not sound like a bad idea, from where I am standing. If I were you, I would try to find common grounds – so to speak 😀

  2. Eeek your neighbour … meeting an alligator whilst inspecting cables might be more than shocking 🙂
    Keep on look out Sylvia !

    • Mr. A seems to know when he’s overstayed his welcome, and slithers back into the water just when I’m starting to worry for his safety, like yesterday when a guy who looked exactly as I would imagine a trapper to look; rather scruffily dressed and wearing a hat that looked as though it could walk on its own, appeared in my neighbour’s backyard. He perused the immediate area for a couple of minutes, then shrugged his shoulders and disappeared again. Mr. A had done a vanishing act only minutes earlier. A close shave methinks. 🙂

  3. I’m happy we don’t have alligators in the salt marsh…the way I hang over the water I would’ve been lunch for sure. But I wouldn’t have reported him either.

  4. Good thing alligators don’t have someone to call when humans move into their backyard, maybe Hannibal Lecter … 😉

  5. Goodness. It must be unnerving to see a creature like that just lounging around. Small pets and children beware! I, too would be reluctant to report it. He doesn’t appear to be bothering anyone (except psychologically)!

  6. I don’t know about where you live but here alligator ‘removal’ and ‘relocation’ are just different, nicer sounding terms for killing the animal.
    In my experience I’ve found that if people leave them alone, they prefer the same.
    Most all so called ‘nuisance’ alligators are created by people feeding and or harassing them.
    People should definitely never feed a wild alligator.

    • Thanks, Phil. I wouldn’t dream of feeding Mr. A, just as I wouldn’t ever consider calling the trapper. He’s laying out on the grass at the moment in plain sight of everyone. I do fear for his safety. I’d like to swim over and warn him, but maybe that’s not very wise,especially as I can’t swim that far. 😀

      • I didn’t mean to pontificate and preach, I honestly know you are aware of the situation. I sometimes get a bit overwhelmed dealing with all the uninformed tourists here in the Myrtle Beach area that I forget that there are many people such as yourself that really do know what they are doing. 🙂

  7. I can’t believe you actually live with this. My God! I would just never go outside! That said….I don’t know that I could make that call either….I’d probably just move! LOL! 🙂

    • Hahaha. One actually becomes quite used to the wildlife here, and I’m always really excited when Mr. A makes an appearance. I guess that having lived in Africa for over 40 years does help. 😆

      • Oh, my. See now I just came to your blog recently (thought I had followed before, but evidently it didn’t take and I have rectified this morning) and had no idea you lived in Africa! I guess a little alligator wouldn’t even make you blink after African animals. Me? I still get up on chairs and scream when I see ants somewhere! 🙂

    • I shared my shower with a lizard a couple of weeks ago. I was so proud of myself that I didn’t freak out. I even managed to wash and condition my hair, but didn’t take my eyes off him, willing him not to move in my direction. 😀

  8. That is certainly too close for comfort. Over here if a crocodile is getting too close to civilisation the rangers capture them and then take them back out into the wild, they are a protected species so can’t kill them. But some are farmed legally for their meat and skins…

    • I agree, Sue. It’s not as if we’re crawling with the beasts. One just occasionally seems quite acceptable to me. I’m so sorry there’s no Mr. A in your backyard. You could have made the Canada Morning News. 😀

  9. They are so scary now that they easily venture into backyards !!! I would want to sit in chair and grab on a book there 😀 But, to think by reporting means they are not taken to some park, aren’t the forest officers meant to protect wildlife ?

    • Thanks, Ady. I’m beginning to understand why people don’t tend to sit out in their backyards here. The trappers only take the smaller ones back to the swamps. The larger ones aren’t so lucky. 😦

      • Such a waste of nice picnic like backyard and one can’t even play in water ! May be reporting to animal activist might help ?

    • Me too Gilly. I guess they’ll always be around. I just like to have Mr. A where I can see him, and at a safe distance. Although people tell me that they avoid humans, I wouldn’t want to put this to the test. 🙂

  10. Reminds me of the area filled with cobras that we lived in once,. They sometimes sneaked into our houses, but there was never any instance of snake bite! That didn’t stop me from screaming my lungs out when one fell out of a hanging plant i was watering. I would let Mr.A ‘be’ as well, but I doubt i would come out on to the grass at all if I lived here Sylvia! 😀

  11. With kids around – I’d probably make the call. If it was just hubby & me – I’d let nature take its course & let Mr. A make his way back to the water on his own.

  12. This is fearful for me 🙂 even I haven’t met any of them in my life… but I can say this I am afraid of even the smallest one too 🙂 I read the article, and yes, they are a creature and they should live as humans… but it doesn’t seem easy to learn how to live with them. I noticed something dear AD, there is not any fence, like iron fence along the river side… why? It is almost open and free area for them… why?
    Be careful dear AD, be careful, and keep your eyes on them… I really worry about them. Thanks and Love, nia

    • Dear Nia, this is just the way that Florida is, and everyone is used to it. Of course we’re careful, and I haven’t heard of anyone of our neighbours who have been harmed by the wildlife here. I actually hardly see any people out on the grass, except the golfers, who sometimes see alligators,but it doesn’t seem to worry them. 🙂

  13. Oh my! It’s the season for roving wildlife… Finn and I encountered a coyote this morning on our early walk. I debated calling it in but decided to let him be and hope he moves on through the neighborhood without eating any stray pets…

  14. oh that’s really close, Sylvia. i’d be too scared for an evening walk or out in the patio at night. or find one cooling off in the pool. but i agree with you, it’s sad when they end up in department stores as shoes or bags. 😦 take care

  15. I guess the whole neighborhood has a cheap home insurance,
    no thieves and especially not at night.? 😀

    Pepper spray does it actually works in relation to alligators.? 😀

    Are there any organizations which can move this guy
    place to be, which would be a lot more fun to him
    and even more fun for the neighborhood.? 🙂

    • you made me smile with “I guess the whole neighborhood has … no thieves and especially not at night.? (Pepper spray does it actually works in relation to alligators.?)

    • Hehehe. Yes, you could be right, Drake. I wouldn’t like to get close enough to see if pepper spray works on them. I somehow don’t think Mr. A would enjoy being captured and taken to a processing plant. 😦

  16. You’re living in his neighborhood. He is trying to dry out and maybe get some Sun. They are basically harmless, for the most part. Be sensible, don’t let your children or pets in or near the pond and you all should be ok. Don’t mess with him yourself.

    • I hear you, Eddie. These creatures are been around for abut 37 million years, and are part of the natural order here in Florida. We humans have actually invaded their territory, so a mutual respect is needed so that we can exist amicably together.

  17. You are braver than I am, Sylvia. I wouldn’t feel comfortable living in a place where I couldn’t go out walking at night, for fear of getting eaten. Or where I couldn’t let the kids go out and play for fear of them getting eaten. It’s so Jurassic Park!

    • Thanks, Naomi. There’s only an occasional alligator sightings here where we live, but this one seems to really like the spot across from us. I wouldn’t go walking next to the water at night, but I’m sure the streets are safe. Some of the golfers say that they occasionally see an alligator, but aren’t bothered by them. I guess they wouldn’t go into the water to retrieve a ball though. 🙂

    • Yes it is sad that they don’t rehabilitate captured ones. One 9-footer was taken from our backyard a couple of years ago, when a neighbour reported him. The trapper told us that he was going to ‘gator heaven to be turned into shoes and bags. ;(

  18. I’m in two minds about a Mr or Mrs A on my property. It’s a pity that residents in such a lovely area cannot enjoy their back yards freely. But, like the monkeys in South Africa, we take over their habitat and expect them to just go away. So we must live with them.

  19. me, my cat and 4 grandchildren would be afraid to have Mr. A as a neighbour – I hope you have only a few steps to run inside and hide, if Mr. A. decides to make a control visit?

    • People here don’t have cats, for obvious reasons, and those with dogs take them out for walks on the street side. I would never allow my grandchildren to go outside to play here, because of the water hazard. We take them to the safety of the beautiful swimming pool area when they come to visit. 🙂

  20. Well I wouldn’t be doing any sunbathing in your neighbours garden, but I wouldn’t want him to be turned into ‘meat and hide’ either. I’d say unless he proves to be a nuisance, in the words of a famous band, “Let it be” 🙂

  21. Let him be. You never know when you may need him to polish off some pesky people! By the way, how do you know it is a Mr.? Did you turn him over? I’m not sure if it is printed on their tummies like kittens and puppies.

    • I agree, Lisa. The people who live over the other side of the water, rarely show themselves, but funnily enough, when I got back from shopping yesterday afternoon, the husband was out there with a guy from Comcast, inspecting the cable box which you can see in the first photo. The alligator had gone, so they didn’t know about him having been so close to where they were standing. 🙂

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