An alligator in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was rescued after it was found with a green soccer ball lodged in its mouth — an item that had reportedly been stuck in the gator’s jaws for days.
On Saturday, workers with a local wildlife company — The Snake Chaser, per local news station WBTW — were called to the retention pond where the gator was located.
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“It almost looked like he wasn’t alive at the time,” James Sargent, one of the employees who treated the gator, told the news station. “But then I did see him moving, so I knew he was alive.”
The gator — which was larger than Sargent and his co-worker, who he identified on Facebook as Chris Boone, first anticipated — was eventually wrangled by the men.
“He was able to get me down into the water. The first time I was ever in the lake for a gator,” Sargent told the news station.
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He added: “I have to physically catch him like a fish, bring him close enough to where we can then get the snare on him. Once we get the snare on him that’s connected to a rope, so then we got a good hold on it.”
The two men were able to free the ball from the gator’s mouth — doing so to the applause from several homeowners located nearby. The gator was then released back into the water.