LAKE COUNTY, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – A local mother became a local hero after wrestling an alligator that had made its way onto the grounds of a local middle school.

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that Jessica McGregor, who is a Lake County deputy as well as a mom, said she saw the alligator on school premises just after the last bell had rung, dismissing students from class – and potentially into harm’s way.

“Kids walk right down that sidewalk by the fence and it was slashed open in some places,” McGregor noted, “I didn’t want to risk the gator getting scared and breaking through the fence and getting into traffic … or grabbing a kid.”

She sprung immediately into action, grabbing rope for a makeshift noose that she would then use to ensnare the creature and drag it to a nearby set of bushes.

It was at that point the gator reportedly tried to get away, presumably back to the water.

“I got him turned around and he started to spin and flop and jump. Once he got tired, he just laid there and wiggled his tail,” she was quoted as saying by the paper. “I threw the rope over him and dropped down with my knees behind his front legs.”

She added, “He jerked around a little bit and just gave up.”

The 29-year-old mother of two young daughters – neither of whom attended the school – then secured the animal’s mouth, while a Clermont police officer observed from a distance.

McGregor honed her gator-catching skills as a child, the Sentinel learned.

“I’ve lived in Lake County my whole life. Back in the day, you had these things come up on your land, and you just caught ’em up and threw ’em back in the nearest watering hole,” she said. “You didn’t feel the need to waste anybody’s time.”


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