Man fatally shoots escaped alligator

DAYTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man fatally shot an escaped alligator after he says the reptile lunged at him at his rural Michigan property.

Derrick Fells says he was collecting minnows Saturday in Tuscola County’s Dayton Township when he heard a “hissing” sound and the alligator tried to attack. Fells told WEYI-TV he apparently startled the reptile, and it “turned on me.” He says he shot it with a pistol and called 911.

The sheriff’s office says the reptile was 5 to 6 feet long.

The alligator was shot about 65 miles north of Detroit. Investigators determined that the alligator escaped from a fenced enclosure at a nearby property where an exotic animal rescue was operating. Two other alligators are there, along with snakes, tortoises, turtles and emus.