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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some Wilmington residents say they have an unwelcome neighbor they just can’t get rid of. We spoke with neighbors of the Lakes at Johnson Farms subdivision who say a four-foot gator has moved in to their retention pond.

“What would the child do? What could the animal do,” asked a neighbor who did not want to be identified.

Homeowners are worried about what they say is a four-foot gator lurking around their neighborhood. They’re also worried about blowback from the HOA for speaking out, which is why some didn’t want to show their faces.

“I don’t know of a subdivision in this county that’s not subject to an alligator,” said James English, owner of Wildlife Removal Service.

Neighbors say they are most concerned for their kids who get off the bus at the stop right next to the pond and run straight to it to see if they can catch a glimpse of the gator.

“Alligators might could travel across roads and go near people’s houses and might kind of get in,” child Julie Webb told us.

The HOA told us it is only responsible for the maintenance of the pond, not the removal of wildlife. We were told that if an animal poses a threat, call 911 or the police department, and they will send someone out to inspect.

“We know we live in southeast North Carolina,” said the concerned neighbor. “There’s a gator population. That’s kind of a cool thing, but what do we do if we are face to face with it? What do I do if he’s in my yard? I don’t want him in my yard.”

English said the main thing to remember is to leave them alone.

“When you go to feed one, he becomes dangerous,” English warned. “He loses fear of people, and he will come right out of the water, right on up and bite you on the foot and bite you on the hand.”

Exactly what parents are afraid will happen to their kids.

Residents say now that they know who to call, they will.

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