GEORGETOWN - As they left for the day on Wednesday, students and staffers at Georgetown County High School found an unwelcome visitor: an alligator.
A school resource officer and crossing guard found the gator in front of the school at 2:55 p.m., said Mike Cafaro, the school's principal.
Officials suspect the gator came from a pond across the street from the school or a canal that runs along the side of school property, he said.
"I don't know where he came from, but he was making his way onto campus," Cafaro said.
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The school resource officer and a county animal control officer got the gator into a cage in the animal control officer's truck, and it was removed from the area, he said.
Georgetown High School opened in 1985 after the consolidation of Winyah High School, whose mascot was an alligator, and Howard High School, whose mascot was a tiger, Cafaro said.
"It's difficult keeping a Winyah High gator away from this school ...," Cafaro said. "It was an educational experience because I've never been that close to a gator."