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Gator Grande to Go: First Responders Capture Alligator at Starbucks Drive-Through in Florida

Gator Grind: Florida's Finest Handle Drive-Thru Delight
Source: North Port Fire Rescue

The alligator made its way into the Starbucks drive-thru in Florida.

May 14 2024, Published 1:03 p.m. ET

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First responders in Florida recently wrangled a wayward alligator in a Starbucks drive-thru recently, and released it into a nearby pond.

North Port Fire Rescue shared photos on social media, and described the incident as "just another day on the job!"

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"Our team at North Port Fire Rescue had quite the surprise when we got a call about an alligator sighting at the Starbucks drive-thru," the fire department said. The fire department coordinated with North Port Police to capture the gator.

Photos show a pair of police officers using a snare to capture the relatively small alligator, which appears to be around four or five feet long.

The "scaly friend" was safely relocated to a nearby pond, the fire department said.

While injury or death caused by alligators is rare in Florida, there is significant human-alligator conflict. Typically, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission dispatches contracted trappers to remove nuisance alligators from residential and commercial areas, but the gator in this case appears too small to have posed a significant threat.

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Nuisance alligators are defined as being over 4 feet long and considered a threat to people, pets or property.

Because healthy alligator populations exist in all available habitat in all of Florida’s 67 counties, nuisance alligators are typically not relocated to the wild, where their introduction can lead to territorial fights and death, according to the FWC.

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Nuisance alligators captured by trappers contracted by the FWC usually become the trapper’s property to sell for hide or meat, or to sell live to a zoo or farm.

"Who knew our mornings could get so wild?" the fire department said. "Remember folks, even on your morning coffee run, always expect the unexpected! Stay safe out there!"

TMX contributed to this report.

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