A "dead" 9-foot, 6-inch alligator turned out to be very much alive last week, after campus security made the mistake of disrupting its nap in some bushes at a nursing school in Natchez, Mississippi, according to the Adam's County Sheriff's Office.
It happened Thursday and before coming to life, the alligator had been ringed by a crowd of stunned students outside the Alcorn School of Nursing, officials said.
Most believed the animal had died from the heat, and a dozen onlookers even began jeering and laughing at the alligator, reported the Natchez Democrat.
When wildlife officers arrived and tried putting a rope around its neck, the alligator sprang to life and begin hissing, thrashing and spinning, according to a sheriff's department video posted on Facebook.
The 11-minute video shows a strange tug of war, in which three men pulled at one end of a rope and the alligator pulled, spun and flipped at the other.
By then, the once-jeering onlookers had backed a safe distance away.
The alligator never surrendered, but was instead forced to submit after three men jumped on its back, as seen in the video. One of the men held the alligator's jaws together until its mouth could be tied shut.
"It's not every day you're going to class and see an alligator lying in the shrubbery," Adams County Deputy Travis Patten told Inside Edition. “That was probably the most excitement this school has seen in a while."
The alligator was then loaded into the back of a pickup and taken to a spot along the Mississippi River and released, reported TV station WSLS.