THIBODAUX, LA (WAFB) - A weekend of heavy rain pushed an unwelcomed visitor out of the swamp and into a residential area.
"We got a call that an alligator was walking near a community neighborhood," David Melancon, Thibodaux Police Department, said. "An officer located the animal and pulled his vehicle up near it to block it until animal control could get there."
The roughly 7-foot alligator presumably wandered into the town Saturday afternoon from the swampy area located about 100 feet from where it was found.
"It was literally right off the roadway," Melancon said. "It didn't cause widespread panic, but you do have businesses, homes, and people who travel on foot in that area, so it could have become an issue."
Although the rain was likely a factor that contributed to the gators journey, officials say it's not uncommon to find alligators in unusual places this time of year.
"In spring and summer, alligators are moving to breed or find new habitat," notes a report from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. "Most of the alligators moving around are smaller ones that have been pushed out of their normal habitat by larger alligators. Usually, these smaller alligators will move on in a week or two."
Unfortunately, this gator had to be put down by a nuisance alligator hunter who responded to the complaint.
If you come in contact with an alligator outside of its natural habitat, you should contact your local law enforcement agency to report it.
"Be sure to keep a safe distance away because alligators are a lot quicker than most people realize," Melancon said with a laugh.