Georgia is home to an abundance of potentially dangerous wildlife, that sometime end up being an unexpected guest at someones home.
Thats what happened Sunday when a nearly 10-foot, 300-pound alligator surprised residents in the 5800 block of Bloomfield Road.
The residents did what many people would do: They called 911.
But they were miffed when a Macon police officer showed up and left after 30 minutes, telling them there was nothing he could do. The large animal remained under a familys porch.
Interim Macon Police Chief Mike Carswell said Monday the officers response is not typical of how the department handles such calls.
We start with animal control or (the Department of Natural Resources), Carswell said. We try to work something out. ... Thats what we could have done (Sunday).
Carswells response is in line with other law enforcement agencies in Middle Georgia.
We call animal control, said Daisy Tapley, a clerk with the Dublin Police Department. If its after hours, Im sure theyd come out for something like that, she said about the alligator found in Macon.
Chief Deputy Billy Boney with the Twiggs County Sheriffs Office agreed.
We have a Department of Natural Resources officer assigned to Twiggs County. ... Theyre usually out here pretty quick, he said.
If it (wildlife) were a danger to life and property, we would dispose of it, Boney added.
Bobby Bond, a wildlife biologist with the DNRs regional office in Macon, said hes no stranger to such calls.
Gators are not unusual for Macon, he said Monday. We get more calls (for alligators) than the average person knows.
Bond said workers in his office share a pager to handle after-hours calls from 911 centers in the area.
Jason Clark, of Griffin-based Southeast Reptile Rescue, eventually removed the massive alligator from the Macon neighborhood Sunday. Its being held in a temporary holding pond at his headquarters, and hes planning to release it Thursday in the Chattahoochee River in Columbus.
Clark said it wasnt the Macon officers responsibility to remove the animal, but he was surprised the officer didnt stick around and work harder to try to have the animal removed.
It would have been good PR to say Im going to stay here and keep the kids back, he said.
When Clark arrived on the scene, several children and adults were taking pictures within yards of the gator.
Clark said many 911 centers and police departments in the midstate frequently call his rescue to remove snakes and alligators. After Sundays incident, hes going to send out literature to area law enforcement agencies and 911 centers as a reminder, he said.
To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.