The Bedford Gator has been captured

An American alligator was spotted lurking in the waters of a pond behind Bedford Junior High...
An American alligator was spotted lurking in the waters of a pond behind Bedford Junior High School. (Source: WTVG) (WTVG)
Published: Sep. 19, 2019 at 3:31 PM EDT
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After draining the pond behind the Junior High School, experts were able to wrangle the out-of-place reptile Friday afternoon.


Lurking in the pond behind Bedford Junior High, an ancient predator sits in wait.

An estimated three-foot long American alligator was spotted Thursday, and the school is now in the process of keeping students away, and local zoologists are working on getting the little creature out of the water.

The alligator was first spotted by a teacher in the pond behind the school which is sometimes used by biology students in both the Junior and Senior High Schools for academic study. Entrances to the pond are now blocked with cones, though experts say there isn't any immediate danger. The gator is believed to be a pet that escaped or was let loose since they're not native to Michigan.

Joe Garverick, owner of The Indian Creek Zoo, attempted to catch the alligator with his bare hands on Thursday but the animal was too quick.

Garverick says he's got a home at Indian Creek for the gator: "We'll take him over there. We've got 3 gators right now, we've got Gatorade, Powerade, and Koolaide. So we'll have to figure out a name for this one."

Possible caiman/alligator found in pond in wooded area behind Bedford Junior High School. The Indian Creek Zoo is working to capture the animal.

Posted by 13abc on Thursday, September 19, 2019

Initially the reptile was believed to be a caiman.

Bedford Superintendent Carl Shultz issued this statement:

Garverick told 13abc Friday that he believes, based on pictures, that the gator is an American Alligator, though he won't know for sure until he captures it.

Alligator about to be pulled from pond at Bedford HS. - Heather Pollauf 13abc

Posted by 13abc on Friday, September 20, 2019

During attempts to capture it Friday morning, Garverick told 13abc that the main concern was safety, though the gator isn't large. "It's pretty small," he says. "They're not going to get near it right now. But as the temperature drops, it'll go dormant. If a kid gets brave and picks it up, it will snap."

And he says his team is pretty familiar with the pond involved: "We've come over here and gotten some big snapping turtles out of the way, and different things, usually it's hawks and owls and stuff. But this is our first gator."