A Walmart in Apopka, Fla., had a surprise visitor Sunday when a 6-foot-long alligator wandered near its front door, reported ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando.
Robin Watkins, who was shopping in Walmart with her child at the time, told CBS affiliate WKMG, “It was a nice size gator, just chilling.” She said it was “neat” to see the alligator, but she was relieved when Walmart employees moved to lock some of the doors.
The store, however, remained open during the alligator drama.
The Apopka Police Department was called to the scene and blocked the area for about an hour, said officer Steven Popp.
“Our main concern was keeping the people safe,” Popp said.
The police called a trapper to handle the alligator, but it had retreated to a wooded area behind the store before the trapper got there.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told ABC News that the alligator had been found and was being kept in a retention pond near Walmart. Today the FWC issued a permit for the alligator to be caught.
“He’ll be put down, unfortunately,” said Karen Parker, a spokeswoman for the FWC. “It looks like he has lost the fear of people, and we don’t want to take the chance of him hurting anybody.”