A giant alligator nearly the length of a small family car was captured in Cleveland, Texas, early Monday morning as it attempted to cross Highway 59, near a Whataburger restaurant.
The gator, which measured in at 11 feet, 6 inches, was first spotted and reported to the local authorities after it was clipped by an 18-wheeler as it tried to cross the highway, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Chance Ward reported the incident to authorities and said the unusual reptilian traffic hazard was only something you’d see in Texas.
Raw video: The over 11 foot long alligator is captured by authorities for release back into the wild, away from the freeway.
“The Gator measured 11′ 6″ and will be relocated alive to a safe place out of harm’s way,” Ward wrote in a Facebook post. “We safely placed the Gator on the flat bed of my truck and strapped him for the ride. Only in Texas will you get a Gator and Whataburger in the same picture.”
Speaking to the Chronicle, Ward said he thought that the alligator would’ve moved by the time he had gotten to the scene, but it was still impeding traffic, causing the road to be blocked and “would rise up and hiss at them anytime someone would get close.”
For comparison purposes, the average length of a small family car is between 169 inches (14-feet, 1 inch) and 185 inches (15-feet, 5 inches), depending on the model.
As firefighters shut southbound traffic on the highway, Ward eventually grabbed rope from his truck, lassoed the gator and then handed it to over animal control. It took six men to wrestle the gator onto Ward’s pickup truck.
Nicknamed George by Ward, the alligator was relocated Monday morning and Ward praised a job well done by local law enforcement.
“Sergeant Edwards was very helpful with helping me untie the Gator in my stock trailer until relocation in the morning,” Ward wrote in the Facebook post. “If you get a chance, thank our local law enforcement and firemen as they not only pull the criminals off the streets, they help keep the wildlife and livestock safe.”