CLEVELAND, Texas — A highway northeast of Houston was temporarily closed when an alligator longer than some compact cars attempted to cross the lanes and was clipped by a passing tractor-trailer.

The southbound lanes of the highway in Cleveland were closed early Monday as authorities worked to remove the gator measured at more than 11 feet (3.35 meters) long.

Chance Ward, who often works with wildlife officials to remove animals that wander into urban settings, helped rope the gator, tie its feet and secure its mouth .

Ward named him George.

It took six men to lift George onto the back of Ward's flatbed truck. The animal didn't appear seriously harmed from his brush with the big rig.

Ward later released George into a rural bayou .