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‘It Started Doing the Death Roll’ Stanton DPW Finds Alligator in Wastewater Lagoons

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There are a lot of scary things to be found in a wastewater treatment lagoon. In mid-Michigan, you never expect to find an alligator.

It was a shock to workers with the city of Stanton in Montcalm County as an employee took on the unusual title of ‘reptile wrangler’ this weekend.

It’s not rare for a Department of Public Works employee to see wildlife around their wastewater treatment lagoons. They’ll see ducks, geese, snapping turtle and frogs but on Sunday they got a bit of a surprise with an American Alligator swimming through the pond.

“It took me a while to register what really just walked in front of me,” said Andy Bills, the worker who found and caught the gator.

Bills was checking on the pumps at the lagoons when he saw a snapping turtle duck into the water and right behind it? A three foot alligator.

“I decided to grab my fishing rod, a cooler and a live trap and try some different alternative methods to get him,” said Bills.

Using a rubber frog as bait, and patience, he finally hooked the large reptile.

“It fought towards the end, it started going down and doing the death roll or whatever,” said Bills, “It got a little tough at the end but it was pretty easy to horse them in after that.”

The DNR came and took the animal to a zoo near Saginaw. They say he was a young, healthy gator that wasn’t there for long.

“Nope I’m pretty sure that’s the only time I’ve spotted him,” said Bills.

It must have been dropped in sometime this summer.

“Somebody brought them back,” said Bills, “Tried to have them as a pet and then got too big and aggressive apparently and released it into the pond.”

Of course, this is not the way to get rid of an unwanted pet. People are asked to call Animal Control for help but for now, Bills is left to wonder what else could be out there.

“The last couple days I’ve been a little more slower moving around the pond,” said Bills, “In case I spot anything else cool.”