They're crawling, in case you haven't noticed. Alligators are moving to a riverbank, lake, pond, ditch or parking lot near you.
A 7- or 8-footer crawled into the busy parking lot of the Charleston County public library Dorchester Road branch on Monday, nestling under a car for the shade. The branch abuts a wooded wetland in North Charleston that runs to the Ashley River.
Charleston County Animal Control was called and they moved the animal to a marshy area. On Tuesday, the animal crawled back out and was seen at nearby businesses.
S.C. Department of Natural Resources was notified and the animal was killed under permit, said Sam Chappelear, regional wildlife coordinator.
A video of the shooting was posted on a Facebook account.
It's that time of year - for gators, snakes, hornets, wasps, spiders, mosquitoes and any number of other maybe-not-so-welcome animals to come calling. When temperatures warm up, they turn out. Gators are moving from winter burrows to sun and to find deeper, feeding waters.
Males have begun to fight for territory. In another month, they will vibrate the water around them and bellow with a deep rumble that sounds like a cross between a bullfrog and that long throaty growl some dogs make. They're calling for mates.
The prehistoric-age creature both fascinates and frightens suburbanites, who want to get close but don't want the alligator too near. Don't mess with them. Call for professional help if they happen to lay down too close to home.
"Forget what you've seen on TV. Alligators are not aggressive by nature. They are passive by nature. You leave them alone; they'll leave you alone," said Ron Russell of Gator Getter Consultants, an alligator management company.
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Editor's note: Previous versions of this story contained incorrect information.