Jackson County

Did that log just move? Doc discovers gator in driveway

It looked like a log.

At least, that’s what Dr. Kaizad Tamboli thought as he started to pull into the driveway of his Ocean Springs home Wednesday. The internist was coming home after a long day at the office, and the early-evening sun was still in the sky but lowering. There was something large, long and dark in the driveway.

“I thought it was a log,” he said.

Wait. Did that log move?

He inched his car closer and saw it wasn’t a fallen tree limb but an alligator. A big one.

“We’ve lived here for 18 years, and this is the first alligator I’ve seen here in all those years,” he said. The Tambolis’ neighborhood is near beach and swampy areas, but gators usually don’t go for strolls down their streets.

“People walk their dogs down our streets, walk with their children,” he said.

He called the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and a deputy was sent out. Then Ryan Rawls, an agent trapper for the state of Mississippi who is licensed to remove or relocate nuisance alligators, arrived about 8 p.m. By that time, the gator had moved to a neighbor’s yard. He got the reptile under control and hauled it away.

Rawls was unavailable for comment Thursday, so the gator’s size and other information are unknown, although Tamboli estimated it to be between 6 and 6 1/2 feet long.

Tamboli is hoping his unexpected guest doesn’t decide to return for another visit.

Tammy Smith: 228-896-2130, @Simmiefran1