Miami man and dog walk outside to find giant alligator on front doorstep

A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it found its way to the front door of his apartment, June 3, 2015, in Miami. (Photo courtesy Fernando Belmonte-Zbinden via ABC News)
A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it found its way to the front door of his apartment, June 3, 2015, in Miami. (Photo courtesy Fernando Belmonte-Zbinden via ABC News)

It pays to be a good neighbor — especially when there are gators roaming your roadways!

A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it managed to find itself on the front door of his apartment on Wednesday.


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Fernando Belmonte-Zbinden said he almost ran right into the gator while walking his dog Maggie,  a 110-pound great Pyrenees. Luckily, though, a watchful neighbor was close enough to warn him.

PHOTO: A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it found its way to the front door of his apartment, June 3, 2015, in Miami.
A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it found its way to the front door of his apartment, June 3, 2015, in Miami. (Photo courtesy Fernando Belmonte-Zbinden via ABC News)

“If it wasn’t for my neighbor shouting at us to get back in the house, we would have charged out of the house and run head-on into the alligator,” Belmonte-Zbinden told ABC News.

PHOTO: A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it found its way to the front door of his apartment, June 3, 2015, in Miami.
A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it found its way to the front door of his apartment, June 3, 2015, in Miami. (Photo courtesy Fernando Belmonte-Zbinden via ABC News)

When authorities arrived on scene, he said, the alligator was right outside Belmonte-Zbinden’s front door in the Emerald Palms apartment complex off southwest 151st Street, not far from the Miami Zoo. A video taken by Belmonte-Zbinden shows trappers removing the animal.

“I had just returned from a meeting, walked in my front door, walked right back out with my dog, when all of a sudden I hear one of my neighbors frantically screaming, ‘Get back in, get back in!’” Belmonte-Zbinden said.

“So I pull the dog back in and go into the front room that looks out on the lawn, and just see this giant gator walking by,” Belmonte-Zbinden added. “So, of course, I got my camera and started snapping away — photographs and taking videos.”

PHOTO: A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it found its way to the front door of his apartment, June 3, 2015, in Miami.
A Miami man said he and his dog had a close call with an eight-foot alligator after it found its way to the front door of his apartment, June 3, 2015, in Miami. (Photo courtesy Fernando Belmonte-Zbinden via ABC News)

Belmonte-Zbinden said that, strangely enough, this wasn’t the first time he’d seen or photographed this gator, which he said has a distinguishable scar on its tail.

”A lot of people have seen this alligator,” Belmonte-Zbinden told ABC News. “It’s never bothered anyone. I photographed it last year over in the canal where I walk my dog. We all know it’s the same one because it’s missing one of the three scales on its tail in a crescent shape. So, it grew over a foot since I saw it.”

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