See If You Can Spot What Doesn't Belong in This Attic

Home inspector stumbles on alligator holed up in NC home
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2023 7:00 AM CST

Alligators have popped up in Florida swimming pools, a Brooklyn lake, and even in a post office. North Carolina attic is a new one, in a discovery out of New Hanover County by a code compliance officer making his rounds. Per WECT, Dean Brown was inspecting a new home under construction in the Echo Farms neighborhood of Wilmington earlier this week, and at one point during his visit, he headed three stories up to check out the residence's attic. Brown says as he was carrying out his tasks in the dimly lit room, "I noticed what I thought was a fake, stuffed gator of some sort."

Not thinking much of it, Brown continued working, but when he turned back to look in the "fake" gator's direction, he suddenly realized the creature "was moving and breathing." "Once I shined my flashlight on his head, his eyes started to open, and he gave me a wink and let me know, 'I'm alive,'" Brown said. The code compliance officer slowly backed away, snapped some photos, then started informing other workers in the next room they had to vacate. He said workers on their lunch break "kind of laughed at me" at first, until he noted, "Well, you might want to look, because there's an alligator in the attic,'" per WWAY.

"Have you ever seen an alligator in an attic?" New Hanover County's government asked in a Facebook post, showing a pic of the seemingly smiling gator. Brown says he's come across alligators twice before in his life, but never inside a house, let alone an attic. New Hanover County spokesperson Alex Riley tells McClatchy News that workers who'd been at the house in the days before Brown's encounter had noticed mud tracked through the residence, but they figured someone had been inside the house "goofing around."

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Brown speculates someone had accidentally left a door open at the home, which is next to wetlands, and that the gator had simply let itself in and climbed the full set of stairs leading to the attic. Riley says the alligator was safely removed from the home by an animal control team. "Thank you to our officials who work hard to make sure buildings and homes are #SafeHealthySecure for our residents—and 'gator free!" the county Facebook post notes. (More alligator stories.)

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