Police in the US were relieved to discover that after they were called out to an emergency incident involving a "big alligator" terrorising a nearby storage unit that the terrifying animal was in fact an inflatable toy.
The incident happened in Polk County, Florida, after a terrified local resident thought they spotted a real alligator.
Police were called at around 1.50 pm on August 24 by a woman who said her husband had been retrieving boxes from a storage shed outside their Winter Haven apartment when he spotted what he thought was an actual gator.
“My husband went to the storage garage and there was an alligator locked in there,” she said.
She couldn’t provide an exact size for the animal.
“He says it’s big, he says it’s big,” she said.
She noted that the storage shed was located near the complex’s pool.
Pictures posted to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Twitter account show Master Deputy Mark Trexler posing with the inflatable apex predator, one hand pinching its snout and the other gripping the handle on its neck.
In the tweet, Polk County Sheriff wrote: "Deputy Trexler went to a call about an alligator in a storage shed.
"He came…he saw…he conquered the beast. He even knocked the wind out of it. Literally. The gator turned out to be a pool floatie."
Other Twitter users were just as quick with the jokes.
“I hope he got a dozen donuts for his bravery,” one woman wrote in reply.
“Looks like this call went ‘swimmingly,’” another man quipped.
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