WENDELL, NC (WNCN) — Missing since Friday, Gertrude the Alligator is finally back home with her owner in Wendell.
Todd Crocker is an 8th grade science teacher, and also travels all over the state teaching children about reptiles. He houses two alligators, a crocodile, and poisonous snakes (to teach investigators how to handle poisonous snakes in the field).
Crocker said he first noticed something was wrong on Friday when someone tampered with his Tilapia pond, next to his alligator pen.
Then when he went to feed his alligators, Gertrude and Wally, Gertrude — who is about 6 feet long — was nowhere to be found.
“Someone came in, stopped over there, and I believe took one of my gators” said Crocker, who teaches at Archer Lodge Middle School.
He then called the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. When the deputies were investigating, they noticed tire tracks near the pen. One of the few clues to this mysterious theft.
The missing alligator, went locally viral on social media.
So suddenly on Monday afternoon, Crocker noticed that Gertrude was back! But with bloody lacerations all across her back.
Crocker said the Johnston County’s Sheriff’s Office is still investigating since it was a theft, and that he is now also installing security cameras all throughout his home and backyard.