July 9 (UPI) -- A pair of wildlife trappers were called to a South Carolina retention pond for an unusual rescue involving an alligator with a soccer ball stuck in its mouth.
James Sargent, a trapper with The Snake Catcher, responded with helper Chris Boone to the pond in the Osprey Cove neighborhood of Myrtle Beach when neighbors reported the gator, a beloved local resident, had apparently attempted to eat a soccer ball and got the sports equipment stuck in its jaws.
"It almost looked like he wasn't alive at the time," Sargent told WBTW-TV. "But then I did see him moving so I knew he was alive."
Sargent shared photos and video of the unusual rescue, which he said marked the first time an alligator had managed to pull him into the water.
"I have to physically catch him like a fish, bring him close enough to where we can then get the snare on him," he said. "Once we get the snare on him that's connected to a rope so then we got a good hold on it."
The soccer ball was removed and the gator was released back into the pond, eliciting cheers from the crowd of onlookers.
"If only every neighbor was as accepting of their gators as Osprey Cove," Sargent wrote on Facebook.