Gator Spotted Late-Night Near School

ONSLOW COUNTY - There was another alligator sighting in Eastern North Carolina, and this time the reptilian beast was hogging the road.

Timothy Fisher was driving on Highway 210 just after midnight Thursday when he saw this gator in the road. It was near Dixon Elementary School in Onslow County.

Fisher had to drive into the other lane to avoid hitting the animal, which was pretty much taking over a lane of the road.

"I would have hit it if there was traffic on coming," he said. "I stayed blocking traffic for a few minutes with my truck then I got out and took the pictures."

Fisher and another driver who stopped called authorities, but got no immediate help.

He said he waited around for about an hour before leaving.

"I just hope no one gets hurts by it or wrecks because of him," Fisher said.

Officials from the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington last week told NewsChannel 12 reporter Christy Andrews the warmer weather could be the main factor in the overabundance of sightings.

"With increasing warmer weather and warming waters, you're going to see them move up north because they need that warm water to be active and get active enough to feed and to grow," curator Amy Van Staalduinen said.

Van Staalduinen said it's also breeding season, which makes it more likely for a gator to wander onto land.

"If you have a female who has a nest, she'll obviously be close to her nest." she said.

Van Staalduinen said the sightings so far do not necessarily mean a busy gator season is expected.

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