The 3-foot alligator wasn't fighting city hall, but North Carolina wildlife officials weren't taking any chances.

Local media outlets report a surprised passer-by spotted the small gator lying outside Jacksonville City Hall on Tuesday morning. She flagged down a motorist, who called city officials.

Animal control and wildlife officers were called in. They kept the gator behind orange traffic cones to make sure no more pedestrians came in contact with the wayward reptile.

A wildlife officer captured the alligator, which was to be returned to its natural habitat.

Wildlife Officer Barbara Marshburn said that at this time of year, alligators are looking for warm roads and sidewalks to heat up their bodies.