PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A Port St. Lucie woman says she caught a neighbor feeding an alligator and yelling at it in a senior living community.
The video was taken nearly a year ago and the gator has been removed since, but neighbors say the woman in the video called the gator by name and it would come after people looking for food.
"She would bring food back and forth and feed him and he would hang out there all day with her," neighbor Lynette Miller said.
Miller captured the video of the woman and says she saw her multiple times feeding the gator.
"She nicknamed the gator Puppy Puppy. She would yell at him and he would come," Miller said.
Other neighbors also saw the gator.
"I would hear 'puppy, puppy, puppy.' I thought the woman was calling for her husband. But she said 'no, I am calling for the alligator,' " Grace LaPlace said.
Neighbors say they saw the woman feeding the gator all different kinds of food including cereal.
"She would talk to him in a low voice. If he got aggressive, she would yell at him," Miller said.
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Florida Fish and Wildlife Investigators are looking into the matter, although it appears the gator was removed some time ago.
"It was quite alarming to see the woman just sitting by the water with the gator just feet and inches from her," Katie Johnson with FWC said.
Neighbors say crews removed the gator nearly a year ago because it was coming up to other people and trying to take food.
"Nobody called the authorities until it came up to a patio and tried to take a steak," Miller said.
But the problem could start up again. Neighbors say other people have fed different alligators in nearby lakes.
"I'm from New York. We don't feed alligators. We see them in the zoo," LaPlace said.
Neighbors say the woman seen in the video has since moved out of the complex.
FWC investigators remind the public that feeding an alligator is not only extremely dangerous, but it is also illegal.
posted by Greg Palmer