CONWAY, SC (WJZY) - A Conway woman said she was coming back home from an arts and crafts event in Charlotte, NC with her 11-year-old daughter when she got the surprise of a lifetime.
"I was sitting on the stairs on the phone with family from California when I heard something go 'bump,'" Shatrina Shy Greenwood told FOX 46 Charlotte.
Greenwood said she thought the noise was her 80 pound lab, but instead it was an 8 foot, 9 inch alligator.
"I looked out the window and I saw nothing until I looked down, and then I lost it," she said.
Greenwood said she couldn't believe what she was seeing. She started screaming and woke up her husband, shouting, "Call 911!"
Dispatch informed her to call the "Snake Chaser" According to their page, the Snake Chaser Nuisance Wildlife Removal and Management Service responds to calls in Myrtle Beach and all along the Grand Strand for snake removal, raccoon, removal, bat removal, bee removal, mole removal, and any other wildlife causing problems.
Greenwood said she called the Snake Chaser and got a voicemail.
It wasn't until numerous calls back and forth between dispatch that the Snake Chaser, Russell Cavender, arrived on scene.
"The guy came to the door by himself, in shorts," Greenwood explained in amazement.
The alligator, who Greenwood affectionately named Alex Bobby, did not go easily. According to Greenwood, the alligator broke multiple signs in her yard, smashed lights, and flattened her dog's leash anchor.
Alex Bobby's tail was also missing. Cavender explained it must have been attacked by a larger gator - and sought refuge in her front yard. The gator would have been 2 ft. longer with its tail.
The SC Department of Natural Resources originally told Greenwood the alligator would be removed from her property and killed.
Russell Cavender promised Greenwood the alligator would be moved far away from residential neighborhoods, and would be safely released back into the wild.
“He got kind of cute after a while," she said.
Greenwood said she's been living in the area for a little under four years, and this was the first time she saw a gator this up close.