You don’t see this every day in the Thumb area. Around noon Saturday, Tuscola County deputies were dispatched to the area of Shay Lake, near Silverwood, for a report of a loose animal. Dispatchers say the caller had shot an alligator in a creek near Shay Lake. The man told police he was in a ditch to collect minnows to go fishing when he heard a “hissing” sound and an alligator lunged at him. The man, who was carrying a pistol at the time, shot the alligator in the head. Police say the alligator was about five to six feet long and an estimated weight of 50 to 60 pounds.
Deputies went to a nearby house where they discovered emus, tortoises, turtles, and two additional alligators. Authorities say the neighbor also had six different kinds of rattle snakes at the residence.. Although, the animals were housed in fenced in enclosures, it was determined that one alligator had escaped the fenced in area. The owner of the gator told deputies he operates an exotic animal rescue. The case has been turned over to the prosecutor’s office for review of possible charges.