Man fatally shoots escaped alligator in rural Michigan

Michigan
alligator

An alligator is seen near the seventh green during the first round of the Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana on April 25, 2019 in Avondale, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

DAYTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man fatally shot an escaped alligator after he says the reptile lunged at him at his rural Michigan property.

Derrick Fells says he was collecting minnows Saturday in Tuscola County’s Dayton Township when he heard a “hissing” sound and the alligator tried to attack. Fells told WEYI-TV he apparently startled the reptile, and it “turned on me.” He says he shot it with a pistol and called 911.

The sheriff’s office says the reptile was 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) long.

The alligator was shot about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Detroit. Investigators determined that the alligator escaped from a fenced enclosure at a nearby property where an exotic animal rescue was operating. Two other alligators are there, along with snakes, tortoises, turtles and emus.

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