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Alligator Found Hiding Under Shopping Carts at Supermarket in South Carolina

Alligator Found Hiding Under Shopping
Image captured by Lisa Royal via USA Today

A surprising visitor caused quite a stir at a Publix supermarket in South Carolina when an alligator was discovered lurking under a stack of shopping carts outside the store, according to Fox News. The unusual sighting quickly drew the attention of both customers and staff, leading to the area being cordoned off with shopping carts and yellow caution tape.

Calm But Injured

Alligator Found Hiding Under Shopping
Image captured by Lisa Royal via USA Today

The alligator appeared relatively calm, resting under the carts with its tail visibly protruding. However, upon closer inspection by officials from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), it was discovered that the reptile had been injured, Fox News reported.

Pellet Gun Injury

Alligator. Image via Depositphotos.

“One of our employees responded and saw that the alligator had a pellet in its head, that it had apparently been shot by a pellet gun,” an SCDNR official wrote in an email to Fox News.

Successful Removal

Alligator. Image via Depositphotos.

An SCDNR official reported to Fox News Digital that a wildlife contractor was called to the scene and successfully removed the alligator. After receiving treatment for its wound, the alligator was released back into state waters, ensuring it was safely away from public spaces.

SCDNR Safety Tips

By Gareth Rasberry – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

In light of the incident, the SCDNR issued a series of safety tips for the public regarding encounters with alligators. Authorities said to remain vigilant and do not approach alligators. It is also important to always be conscious of your surroundings and stay clear of water edges. It is illegal to feed alligators as it can lead them to associate humans with food, potentially leading to dangerous situations, according to Fox News.

How Did the Alligator Get There?

Alligator mississippiensis (Daudin, 1802), American alligator; Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. By H. Zell via Wikimedia –

The incident raises questions about how the alligator ended up at the supermarket. Wildlife experts believe the reptile may have wandered from a nearby water source in search of food or new habitat.

Community Reaction

Alligator. Image via Depositphotos.

The sighting of the alligator sparked a mix of fear and fascination among the local community. Many shoppers took photos and videos, sharing their experience on social media.

Alligator Behavior

Alligator. Image via Depositphotos.

Alligators are typically shy and avoid human interaction. However, when injured or stressed, they can become unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

Importance of Reporting

Alligators, have a lot more stamina in water. Image via Benutzer:Keeepa, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

SCDNR emphasized the importance of reporting any alligator sightings to authorities to ensure public safety and proper handling of the animals.

Previous Encounters

Alligator Sharp teeth strongest bites.
Image via Wikimedia (Public Domain)

This is not the first time an alligator has been spotted in an unusual location in South Carolina. Similar incidents have occurred in residential areas and even golf courses.

Alligator Habitat

American Alligator
Image via Depositphotos.

Alligators are commonly found in freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers, and swamps. Urbanization and habitat loss can lead to increased sightings in unexpected places.

Conservation Efforts

Alligator. Image via Depositphotos.

The incident highlights the need for continued conservation efforts to protect alligator habitats and prevent human-wildlife conflicts.

Alligator. Image via Depositphotos.

Shooting an alligator with a pellet gun is illegal and punishable by law. Authorities are investigating the incident to identify the responsible party.


Close up view of an alligator. Image via Depositphotos.

The alligator sighting at the South Carolina supermarket serves as a reminder of the importance of wildlife safety and awareness. By following SCDNR guidelines and reporting sightings, the public can help protect both themselves and these magnificent creatures.

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