Surfing gator surprises Hilton Head

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C.   — It wasn't your usual tourist in the surf off a South Carolina resort island. This surfer was a 9-foot gator.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head Island reports the alligator was spotted in the surf Tuesday and hundreds of beachgoers watched as the creature was captured by gator wranglers.

Two workers for Critter Management Inc. caught the alligator after crews on jet skis forced the creature closer to shore so it could be snared and removed from the beach.

Officials say a gator turns up on the beach about once a month during the summer.

They say the alligators, which are fresh water creatures, may search out salt water because they are injured. They say the gators might be forced into the ocean because they are afraid of the crowds.

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