Video shows alligator's 'death roll' amid struggle with officers on North Carolina highway

An alligator became somewhat of a traffic hazard recently, lying in the middle of a North Carolina highway for several hours.

It was a surprising evening for Brunswick County Sheriff's Office deputies, who were called May 14 to remove a "big fella" hanging out by a North Carolina bridge, the agency said in a Facebook post.

Deputies didn't have an easy time getting the "big fella" out of the way, struggling to pull the reptile towards the barrier over the course of a few minutes. Especially, with the alligator trying to death roll their way out of the deputies' grip.

"Deputies safely removed the gator TWICE from Highway 17S entering Brunswick County ... Thankfully, the alligator was saved from traffic on the highway and those traveling the highway were saved from the gator!" according to the post.

Watch alligator try to roll away from authorities below

Multiple deputies responded to the call about the alligator, using a leash-like object on the reptile's mouth to pull it to the side of the road.

"It's all fun and games," one deputy could be heard saying.

The alligator wasn't happy about being moved, attempting to stop the move by way of death roll.

"He's growling too, now," another deputy says.

Eventually the deputies get the alligator away from the road, pulling it away from the highway twice.

What's a 'death roll' anyway?

🐊PSA: No wildlife or deputies were hurt during this incident!🐊Our deputies never know what they are going to be called...

Posted by Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, NC on Tuesday, May 14, 2024

A death roll is a "spinning maneuver" used by members of the Crocodilia species, including alligators, to subdue and dismember prey, according to scientists from West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

"Body-rolling inertial feeding or rotational feeding is used by elongate vertebrates that lack specialized cutting dentition," scientists says. "The inability to cut food into smaller portions requires such species to use mechanisms to remove manageable pieces from prey that are too large to consume whole."

Both large alligators and crocodiles will grab a limb or lump of a flesh with their jaws, rotating the food around their body until a piece is torn free.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alligator tries to death roll to get away from North Carolina deputies