Gwinnett County

Neighbors surprised by 5-foot gator in pond

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County homeowner was startled by a trespasser in his backyard.

A 5-foot alligator was spotted swimming in a 1-acre pond in Lilburn on Sunday.

“I did do a real double take when I saw it,” homeowner Bill Compton said. “'Am I really seeing what I’m seeing,' you know?”

Compton said he’s seen many critters in his 18 years in the home, but this is the first gator.

“Wonder if we’ll name it,” he said.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources sent a specialist over to look at the animal.

“He said it’s possible they won’t do anything if it’s not a threat. It makes sense. Eventually, it’ll probably move on,” Compton said.

Compton thinks the gator came from the Yellow River, which is about 75 yards away.

“I think it’s OK. We’ll just leave him alone for now. I don’t think we’d want to interact with him very much,” neighbor Abigail Smith said.

Compton said he plans to leave the gator alone and hopes it, in turn, will leave him alone.