By Todd Quinones
ROCKLAND TWP., PA (CBS) — A Berks County man found a big surprise in his pond on Friday.
According to Pennsylvania State Police, Robert Hipp, 49, found an alligator inside his outdoor fish pond on Friday at around noon.
“When I reached for it, I had a net, and when I reached for it, it shot right down in the water,” said Hipp.
“He was acting all funny and he goes, ‘I think there is an alligator in the pond.’ I’m like, ‘He’s messing with me,’” Bob’s wife Tina said.
This 2-and-a-half foot American alligator made itself at home in the hipp’s backyard pond. He even ate some frogs and a few goldfish.
“My wife watched him take down one of the smaller fish. Grabbed it and did the whole death roll,” Hipp said.
With the help of his children, Hipp was able to catch the reptile using a snare and placed it inside a box until state police arrived at his home in Rockland Township.
It turns out, the alligator belongs to a neighbor a couple hundred yards away.
The animal got loose from its cage and managed to get around a fence.
The owner claimed the gator and took it back, police say he won’t face any charges because state law does not require a permit or license to have an alligator.
The owner of the alligator didn’t want to be identified, but he did come back to the Hipp’s home to personally apologize and offer to pay for the fish his gator ate.
The Hipps seemed to take it all in stride.
“I’m glad the owner found it and he’s getting it back,” Hipp said.