WEDDINGTON, N.C. - A Weddington family had quite the scare after they found an alligator on their property Sunday afternoon.
Dan Tedj said his 6-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter were about to play basketball when he walked outside and saw an alligator.
He said the 2- to 3-foot long creature was catching some shade behind a patio chair.
"We didn't want to really be around him or near him with the kids. Unfortunately, the kids were really excited. They didn't want to go back inside, and they wanted to stay out here. So, we were a little nervous," Tedj said.
The family called animal control and watched as officers poured water on the hissing gator to calm him down and put a cord around his neck.
Animal control officers said the gator was about 15 pounds.
Officials said they do not know how the reptile ended up in the area, but Tedj said there is a pond nearby.
"We do have a pond close to our neighborhood, and we think that it might be one from there, but we don't now for sure," he said. "I really hope they don't euthanize it. We love animals, as scary as he was."
Wildlife officers told Channel 9 alligators often start off as pets that people are not supposed to have.
"They get so big they fall out of a fish tank, or they get out loose, like this one," Officer R.W. Prince said.
The alligator was taken to an animal shelter where North Carolina Wildlife officers will take care of it.
Prince said they will be looking for a home for the alligator.
Officials are trying to figure out the alligator's breed because they said it may help them determine where it came from and where it should go.
"Somebody who has the training like the North Carolina Zoo, whether it be or an alligator farm in Myrtle Beach," Prince said.
Wildlife officers said their agency gets several calls a year like this all across the state.
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