Massive alligator steals ball during soccer game
HILTON HEAD, SC (WHDH) -- A weekend pick-up soccer game on South Carolina's Hilton Head Island had a long time-out, and it's all because of the stellar work of the goalkeeper, a 13-foot alligator who wouldn't turn the ball loose.
"We had to go find another ball, let's say that," the team's coach Trevor Garbett said.
At about 13-feet-long and weighing in at more than 900 pounds, the gator got the ball, helping the kids pull in a 5-4 victory.
That's when the team said it's time for some "gator-aid" -- and called Critter Management's Joe Maffo, who's certified by South Carolina's Department of Natural Resources to handle the Island's gator problems.
"He was just being a nuisance alligator and wanted to play some soccer," Maffo said. "Today we got a hook in him. And when we put the hook in him, he spit the ball out."
12-year-old Jorge Nunez hasn't decided if he's going to keep the lucky ball in the game or turn it into a trophy, but the kid's helpful teammate has a sad fate through the story.
Under South Carolina Department of Natural Resources's nuisance alligator program, Maffo says the gator�s got to go down.
"He exceeds 12 feet," Maffo said. "He's an extremely large male gator. And as far as safety factors and children, we have to weigh a lot of things out, and he fits the criteria under state law for the harvest program."