MATTAWAN, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A west Michigan man says he was mowing his lawn when he found an alligator trapped in the window well of his basement.

Terry Doolittle of Mattawan said authorities were skeptical when he reported the discovery because his last name is the same as a fictional children’s book and movie character who spoke to animals.

He told that authorities were wary of a prank and at first didn’t believe him. “With my last name, and you know, Dr. Doolittle. They thought I might be joking,” Doolittle said. “Is this guy telling the truth?”

Doolittle said he was mowing alongside of his house when he “saw a tail move.”

An animal rescue employee who owns six other alligators eventually helped dislodge the creature, and took it home until someone claims it.

Authorities believe the the 3- to 4-foot alligator was a family pet.

Anyone with information regarding the animal is asked to contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at 269-657-2006.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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