Steve Polston said he awoke Sunday at his Mount Pleasant home to sounds coming from the enclosed porch, and he soon discovered the noise wasn't being made by his daughter or his wife.
Polston went to investigate and made a startling discovery.
"There's a 9-plus foot gator on our porch," he told WCBD-TV. "I knocked on the door, and sure enough it was a live gator."
Polston said the gator climbed a 15-foot staircase, broke through a screen door and started rearranging the furniture on the porch, breaking some items.
The family called the state Department of Natural Resources, which dispatched a wildlife expert to remove the gator.
The expert estimated the alligator was about 60 years old and may have been trying to find its way back to a breeding pond after a recent fence installation blocked what was likely its usual migration path.
State officials have warned of alligators becoming more active as the weather warms, with two massive alligators spotted just two weeks earlier on the same day wandering a pair of golf courses on the state's Kiawah Island.
An alligator spotted in February just 16 miles from Mount Pleasant in Hanahan made national headlines due to its unusual orange coloring. The reptile, dubbed "Trump-a-gator" by neighbors, was likely turned temporarily orange by a pollutant in the water or from hanging out in oxidized pipes, experts said.