A couple in Hilton Head Island, S.C. woke up to take their dog on a walk in the early morning hours, but were blocked by a 12-foot long, 1,000 pound alligator sitting on their front porch.
Diana Andrews opened the door of her home and screamed, quickly running back in the house.
"I was in bed and heard her open the door and then scream and then heard the door slam," Arthur Andrews said. "I went running out and looked outside."
"The dog couldn't have been two feet from the gator's mouth when my wife grabbed him by his tail and pulled him back into the house, so she had to get that close too."
They decided to call the security guard of their community. He came in a pickup truck and tried to scare off the animal, but he wouldn't budge. That's when he told them to call professionals.
For two hours, they waited for the people from Critters Management Inc. to arrive. They watched as the alligator stayed out on their front porch, "kind of casing the house."
The Andrews told the professionals that the alligator was about 10 feet, but because the company receives so many exaggerated estimates of alligators' sizes, they sent one person instead of a team.
Joe Maffo showed up and tried to chase the gator out, but right when he saw the size of it, he knew he needed backup.
"When he saw it, he said there was no way," Arthur said.
First, Maffo used a snare to try to scare the alligator, but the gator snapped the steel cable. He then used both a snare and ropes to secure it to a nearby tree and left to get more help.
He came back with six colleagues who taped the gator's mouth shut and tied its legs. They removed it form the couple's lawn.
"It was five hours minimum from the time we saw him to the time they took him away," Arthur said.
Because of the animal's size and apparent aggression, the company euthanized the alligator.
Now, life is back to normal for the Andrews, who often see alligators in the lagoon in their backyard.
"Things are back to the normal, calm Hilton Head lifestyle," Arthur said. "The gators were here before us and we just have to learn to live with them. But that was an awfully scary episode."