TAMPA (CBS Tampa) – A nearly 12-foot alligator was tethered to a tree in a neighborhood just south of Temple Terrace, according to the Tampa Tribune.
A resident of the apartment complex, which overlooks the Hillsborough River, notified authorities when she saw the leashed gator.
Licensed trapper Phil Waters was called out to deal with the beast.
He found a stretch of parachute cord stretched from a tree over a 4-foot seawall and into the river. The gator floated at the other end of the line.
“It was 11-foot-6 on tape,” he said, “but it looked bigger. It was a big fat healthy alligator.”
Walters added some residents said unidentified people “had caught it and was feeding it cats.”
It’s unclear if the car rumor was true.
Nevertheless, Walters warns that it’s a bad idea to feed alligators, because they lose their fear of humans and might start thinking the riverbank is a good place to find food.
Because of the dangerous situation, officials had no choice but to shoot the animal.