Skip to main content

When an alligator lurks, Stearns County's finest respond

  • Author:
  • Updated:

This was no routine call to a Minnesota sheriff's dispatcher.

From out of the murky lowlands near the Sauk River the call for help came from a Rockville homeowner. Or at least the mower of the lawn at a Rockville home.

And what the intrepid mower had spotted was no snake in the grass. It was an alligator, the caller asserted. A couple of feet long.

The deputy who soon arrived made a cautious approach – expecting the reptile to retreat to a watery lair. But no.

Even a prod with a baton elicited no response.

Except, perhaps for the light bulbs that illuminated over certain heads. This was no gator. It was a toy.

Was some neighbor kid giggling behind a tree? Was the lawn mower (the person, not the machine) a conspirator in a hoax?

We may never know. Because the sheriff's office did not include those details in their news release alerting us to the afternoon drama in Rockville in their best Jack Webb voice. (That's a Dragnet reference.)

The St. Cloud Times, and radio stations WJON and KVSC picked up on the story.

Real life alligators do live on the Mississippi River, but experts say they're unlikely to venture north of about Memphis, Tennessee.

What happened to this not-real gator? The sheriff's department says "It was safely removed." Just the facts.

Next Up

Gov. Tim Walz and Scott Jensen.

Walz, Jensen clash over 'extreme' abortion views

The two clashed over the topic on Tuesday, following the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 12.24.27 PM

Movie filming brings memorable day for MN teen with leukemia

Ayotzin Limon-Millard was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 1.25.30 PM

Police trying to ID 'Playboy bandit' and 'no-pants raider' suspect

Police are calling the unidentified man "the Playboy bandit" and the "no-pants raider."

storm, severe, shelf cloud

Twin Cities under severe thunderstorm watch Tuesday afternoon

Large hail and damaging winds are the main threats.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 9.27.30 AM

Famous Dave's family brings new BBQ biz to the south metro

The newest Twin Cities location is the first to offer wine slushies on the menu.

storm, shelf cloud, severe weather

Large hail possible with strong storms in eastern MN, WI

Watch the forecast update with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

Tony Evers, Wisconsin governor

WI governor vows to protect anyone charged with abortion crimes

“You think it’s bad now? The four Republicans that are going after me, one of them we’re going to beat, they are going to make it worse," Evers said.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, June 28

The state will stop providing daily updates and move to weekly editions beginning Thursday, June 30.


Sports anchor Hobie Artigue announces FOX9 departure

Artigue has spent the past seven years covering Minnesota sports.

hennepin county medical center

Boy, 7, dies after being pulled from pool in south Minneapolis

The boy was pulled from a pool at a home in south Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 8.32.18 AM

Nashville man leaving wedding shot in the face in Minneapolis

He was leaving a wedding when gunfire erupted near the Stone Arch Bridge Saturday night.


Abogados Café in St. Paul is the first law-themed coffee shop in America

The new business is Minnesota's first Latina-owned coffee shop.


Warm winter, yes, ... but alligators in Bloomington?

They're not sure how it got there but police removed an alligator from a pond in Bloomington. The three-and-a-half foot reptile was found after a man complained the gator had hissed at his dog. A fisherman told Fox 9 "There's a big one back there, too."