Photos: Florida police officer lassos lost alligator

A Florida police officer lassoed an alligator over the weekend amid a Sunday morning stroll.

The Tavares Police Department said it a Facebook post that the police department received some calls about a small alligator that was on a Sunday stroll near some businesses. Officer Doug Roberts responded and used a rope to catch the gator and then relocated it to a nearby pond.

Photos showed the small gator walking along the sidewalk near some bushes, as well a photo of Officer Roberts releasing the gator near the pond.

Photo credit: Tavares Police Department

Photo credit: Tavares Police Department

"Officer Roberts (aka Officer Justice) sprung into action and safely relocated the tiny gator to a body of water where it can safely continue its swimming and sunbathing," the police department said in its post.

Tavares is about 40 miles northwest of Orlando.

Alligators are part of life in Florida. They're located in ponds, rivers, marshes, swamps, and lakes throughout Florida.

While alligator attacks and bites are considered rare by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they do happen each year. The FWC said alligators will usually avoid people unless provoked or needing to defend their nest.

According to the latest statistics from FWC, which was last updated in November 2021, there have been 117 reported alligator bites since 2010, four of which were deadly (one each in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019).

FWC: Alligator safety tips for Florida residents

  • Never feed an alligator
  • Keep pets away from water's edge
  • Swim during the day and in designated areas
  • If you see an alligator, keep you distance

Florida Nuisance Alligator Hotline

The Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) has been established to address complaints concerning specific alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets, or property. People with concerns about an alligator should call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). 

To become an alligator trapper, you have to submit an application. Visit for more information.