SCDNR: Mating season may have played role in alligator on I-526

The alligator as wranglers attempt to corral it (Source: Live 5)
The alligator as wranglers attempt to corral it (Source: Live 5)
Authorities on-scene of the alligator spotting (Source: Live 5)
Authorities on-scene of the alligator spotting (Source: Live 5)
The alligator opens its mouth as wranglers approach. (Source: Live 5)
The alligator opens its mouth as wranglers approach. (Source: Live 5)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - An alligator was spotted on an I-526 ramp Wednesday morning and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources believes mating season may have played a role.

"Now is the season when male alligators are on the move as they search for new territory and mates," SCDNR spokeswoman Erin Weeks said. "So it's not uncommon for these animals to move through developed areas."

The alligator was sitting on the I-526 westbound on-ramp at Virginia Avenue before it was removed from the road.

Weeks added tjat all nuisance alligators were formerly killed because relocating them was illegal under state law. Relocation is now allowed under certain conditions and depending on the animal's behavior. She said a local control agent had removed the I-526 alligator and was unsure of its fate.

"Alligators have strong homing instincts and can find their way home from over 30 miles away, which is what makes successful relocation such a challenge," Weeks said. .

The alligator was about six feet long and the call came in at 3:50 a.m. North Charleston police responded to the scene.

Weeks advised people to call the 24-hour SCDNR hotline at 1-800-922-5431 so a wildlife removal agent can be dispatched.  In non-emergency situations, the property owner/manager would have to obtain a depredation permit and then hire a private removal company to remove an alligator.

Alligator safety tips can be found here. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for more information.

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