Sometimes, looks can be deceiving.
That was especially true when Hailey Brannen went out to her pickup truck on Tuesday and thought she saw a plastic bag underneath it, according to her Facebook post.
But then she got closer — and that revealed a nearly unbelievable sharp-toothed surprise.
That “plastic bag” was actually an alligator and now Brannen had to convince her husband she wasn’t losing her mind, she said in a Facebook comment.
“There ain’t no damn alligators in this part of Texas,” she recalled him saying. The couple lives in Axtell, an unincorporated community in McLennan County, about 15 miles northeast of Waco.
“He didn’t believe me he said ‘YeAH We HaVe GaTtERs in AxTeLl,’” she said in another comment.
So he looked closer, too, KWTX reported, and sure enough it was a 3-foot alligator relaxing in their driveway.
“Only in Axtell, where you can walk out to your car and think that an alligator is a plastic bag argue with your husband that it’s an alligator and then he realizes it is in fact an alligator,” Brannen wrote on Facebook.
She included photos of the alligator as well as a video of two men working to get the alligator captured and into a trash can as one man held the reptile by its tail.
The game wardens were called, she wrote, and confirmed it was an alligator before taking it from the home.
The day prior to this alligator’s “plastic bag” appearance, a game warden told KWTX that the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office received a call from someone reporting a man who took a small alligator to local bar.
“Apparently, they took the alligator to a bar. Then someone took it for a ride on a motorcycle,” Game Warden Michael Serbanic said, according to Waco TV station. “They gave it to someone else who put it in a kennel at their home and it got out! It walked down the road and across the street and ended up underneath the truck.”
He said alligators are “extremely rare” in that area, according to the station, so he thinks it was likely someone’s pet before it was let go.
“The American alligator is common in swamps, rivers, bayous, and marshes of the southern U.S., including the eastern third of Texas,” Texas Parks and Wildlife says. “While typically found in fresh-water, they can tolerate brackish water as well. Formerly an endangered species, the alligator is now a protected game animal in Texas.”
Texas Parks & Wildlife says it is illegal to hunt, raise or possess an alligator within the state without a special permit.