The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports the 12-foot gator estimated to weigh 800 pounds wandered out of the surf Monday.
Officials think the alligator could be 45 years old.
It took two men 40 minutes to snare, rope and tape the alligator as a crowd of about 100 people watched.
Joe Maffo of Critter Management says under state regulations, the alligator will have to be destroyed. But Maffo says he will talk to Department of Natural Resources officials to see if the gator can be relocated.
Maffo says the alligator was probably returning home at the end of mating season.