NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. - Talk about a wild encounter!
A home inspector in North Carolina thought someone put a big stuffed alligator in the attic of a home as a joke -- until it started moving!
Dean Brown is a code enforcement officer for New Hanover County. He was doing an inspection at a 3-story, new-construction home in Echo Farms when he went to check out the attic and noticed a large figure hanging out by the air conditioner.
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"I thought it was a stuffed animal that someone threw up there as a joke," he told FOX 35. "So I just went about my inspection."
That's when he noticed the "stuffed animal" was breathing. It turned out to be an 8-foot alligator!
"I was about 2 feet away from stepping on its head!"
Brown said the alligator appeared to be sleeping until he shined a flashlight in its face, and that's when the gator's eyes opened. He immediately told the construction crew who were working on getting out of the house, but they didn't take him seriously.
"They laughed at me! They thought I was crazy!"
After seeing for themselves, Brown and the crew called 911, and animal control officers arrived to capture the gator.
Brown said he's been working in the business since 1995 and has encountered many crazy situations, but this was a first!
He said there are wetlands behind the home and that a door might have been left open, which is how they think the alligator got in, but it's still a mystery as to how it got into the attic.