In the early hours of Easter morning, Susan Polston had fallen asleep watching “Friends” on television when she was awakened by a loud intruder on the second story porch of her South Carolina home.
She told her family “Somebody’s trying to break into the house,” and ran and hid in the master bedroom while calling 911. When the banging quieted down, her 16-year-old son, Ben, peered out onto the porch and started yelling, “Oh my God, I found it! I found it!”
A nearly 10-foot-long alligator had clambered up the back stairwell to the second story porch of their home, crunched through the aluminum screen door and made itself at home between the sofa and a swinging bench. It lay there like a plastic prank, but when they rapped on the window glass, it lifted its head, according to Post and Courier.
And the monstrous critter wouldn’t budge, even though a nuisance removal agent spent two hours trying to coax it out far enough from the porch to snare it safely.
“A 5-footer, we could have put a dog stick on it and dragged it out,” said agent Ronnie Russell, of Gator Getter Consultants. “One that large, he likes to grab onto things (to fight.)” As Russell worked outside, the family inside dragged over household furniture to barricade the door.
“There was not a whole lot of room up there (on the porch),” Russell said.
Alligators wandering up to homes isn’t unusual in the Lowcountry, with its abundance of marsh. Climbing a story-high staircase is. But it’s spring, the time of year male gators roam for mates.
The prehistoric-age creatures like to take the direct route from waterhole to waterhole and will thrash their way through obstacles if they can. In February, a gator wandered up to another and appeared to climb the door to ring the bell as it tried to get past.
Unlike the crocodiles seen on television, alligators are not aggressive by nature. But they eat dogs and will react if they feel threatened, including a bluff “false charge” showing their teeth. They can move swifter than their bulk suggests.
Unfortunately nuisance-trapped alligators must be killed, so the enormous creature was euthanized.