A boy fishing in a Nocatee pond found a surprising catch at the end of his line: an alligator.
He and his friend recorded the encounter on a cellphone.
“I don’t know what to do. Like, we’ve got a gator. He’s not that far from where I’m standing,” said 12-year-old Connor Foard in the video. “I really didn’t mean to do this.”
Foard said he was fishing for bass in his gated neighborhood.
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He said the pond is close to a playground and dog park.
Unsure of what to do next, Connor called his dad.
“Even as a parent, I don’t know what to do. So, I can’t imagine what goes through the mind of a 12-year-old,” said his father, Jay Foard.
The lure snapped off Connor’s line.
Then Connor got a net and tried to catch the gator because he didn’t want to leave the lure in its mouth.
“Because I didn’t know if it would, like, maybe get stuck there, and it couldn’t get out, and maybe he couldn’t eat,” Connor told Action News Jax.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said this is not the right move.
An FWC spokesperson said the safest thing to do is cut the line right away and leave, no matter how small the gator looks.
Connor said the gator he caught was about 4-feet long.
“I really didn’t mean to do this.” A boy fishing in a Nocatee pond found a surprising catch at the end of his line: an #alligator. I asked @MyFWC what you or your kids should do in this situation. That story is coming up at 5:55 on CBS47 @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/dGgVdOesnc— Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) April 12, 2019
That’s the minimum length for FWC’S Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program (SNAP) to remove a “nuisance gator.”
People with concerns about an alligator can call FWC’s Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).
“A lot of young kids, we see a lot of them out right now fishing and getting involved outdoors. They don’t realize that some of this nature is out there and it can be dangerous,” said Jay Foard.
From now on, Connor is only allowed to fish if he’s with an adult.
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