‘Home of the Gators’: Nearly 8-foot-long alligator wrangled at Florida elementary school

BARTOW, Fla. — It’s unclear whether an alligator was looking to enroll or just visit when it appeared outside of a Florida elementary school.

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Polk County Public Schools posted a video on Facebook showing a police officer from the Bartow Police Department wrangling the gator, which measured in at 7 feet, 11 inches. The district said that the principal of Spessard Holland Elementary had arrived on campus Tuesday morning and found the alligator waiting near her parking spot.

In the video, a voice off-camera identifies the officer who caught the gator as a former trapper for Florida Fish and Wildlife, WFLA reported.

The gator, which the school affectionately named “Spessie,” was taken into custody and removed from the school.

In an interesting twist, the school district noted that Spessard Holland Elementary’s mascot is an alligator, and it’s known as “Home of the Gators.”