Gator finds its way to Lehigh Acres church, pastor invites it inside
LEHIGH ACRES, Fla.– A gator tried cleansing its sins on Tuesday by going right up to a Lehigh Acres church. The encounter was captured on camera, including the pastor of Victory Church getting up close and personal with the big guy.
“One of the daycare workers came in and was like ‘there’s a gator’,” said Daniel Gregory, lead pastor at the church. “I was like ‘funny’”.
But there was no joke. A four foot gator crawled out of a nearby storm drain and right up to the place of worship.
“He’s coming to church, get ready,” said Gregory in a video he filmed.
It made for a great photo op.
“Definitely a Florida thing to do, you know,” said Ximena Villasis, who witnessed it all happen.
The pastor got a little closer to the prehistoric predator.
“He came to our church. I don’t know what his spiritual condition is,” said Gregory. “I need to invite this gator to church.”
So he did.
“We have services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday mornings,” said Gregory in a video where he is seen handing a business card to the gator. “Want to check us out?”
While the video is meant to be humorous, FWC authorities say it’s not worth the risk to get a couple clicks.
“We certainly encourage the viewing aspect of it, but we never want you to approach a wild animal like that. It can be very dangerous,” said Adam Brown of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “There’s no reason to take a chance.”
The pastor admits, it wasn’t his best idea.
The gator scurried back into the storm drain after the pastor tried to baptize him.
If you have a gator you’d like to have removed, call the FWC Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286) or click here.
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