Sonya Gilreath knew something wasn't right when she heard a man yelling "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" outside of her house Thursday morning.
The South Carolina mother ran down the stairs, opened her front door and saw her neighbor's car parked on her front lawn. The driver rolled down his window and yelled, "You got an alligator in your yard!"
A group of children on their way to school stood frozen behind the car, staring at a nearly 10-foot-long alligator sitting underneath Gilreath's bushes.
As soon as the gator moved, the kids ran home as fast as they could -- and so did Gilreath.
"All of the sudden, I saw it get up," Gilreath told CBS News. "I ran inside after seeing how large as it was."
Gilreath's children, a 2-year-old and 3-year-old, watched the creature from behind a window.
"Mama, that is a giant alligator!" her 3-year-old daughter said, pointing at the alligator. "Whoa, he's huge."
The 2-year-old boy just kept repeating, "Alligator! Alligator!"
Then the animal slunk across the front lawn, crossed the street and crawled into a nearby pond.
Gilreath said this was the first time in about five years she's spotted such a large alligator in her neighborhood.
"There are golf courses," she said. "You'll frequently see them, but never walking around yards."
Neighbors reported the sighting to South Carolina's Goose Creek Police Department, who later posted a warning to residents on Facebook.
"This morning residents in The Hamlets shared the sidewalk with this guy," the department posted. "If you see an alligator in your neighborhood, don't approach or attempt to handle them on your own."
"Oh my, he is huge," one Facebook user commented on the photo.
"Get animal control fast...he's big," another user wrote.
Gilreath said her neighborhood's Homes Owner's Assocation plans to send someone out to capture the animal.
"I'll never let my kids go outside again without me going out first," she said, especially when a 10-foot-long creature could be lurking close by.