STUART, Fla. -- An otherwise ordinary morning for Bob Snyder ended with a close encounter on Friday.
Snyder said he discovered a four-foot alligator after he heard a noise in the garage of his home and went to look inside.
"Because of the concern for the pillowcase burglars, [if] you hear something in your garage, you go investigate," Snyder said. "It was an eye-opening moment. This alligator turned around and opened his mouth and snapped at me. It happened so fast I wasn't sure how big it was."
Snyder, who has lived in his Cardinal Trail home for twenty years, said alligators had roamed the neighborhood before -- but had not wandered into a garage.
He opened the garage door, and after some gentle persuasion, the alligator walked into a neighbor's backyard and eventually waded into a canal.
"Alligators are part of our natural territory," Snyder said. "I have no problem … releasing him back into the canal."
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission established a Nuisance Alligator Hotline to report alligators in neighborhoods and other public places.