MONTREAL -- Mayssam Samaha was having a coffee with a friend in central Montreal when she noticed a slow-moving alligator crossing Jarry St. in the middle of Sunday afternoon.

"It took me a few seconds to comprehend what I was seeing then we ran outside - my friend and I - to save or protect the alligator from being squished by cars," said Samaha.

Someone nearby called 911 right away, and SPVM officers were dispatched.

Samaha said she was never frightened for herself, but nervous about traffic potentially injuring the reptile.

"The alligator seemed very calm," she said. "He crossed the street and went under a car. I guess he was looking for some warmth... I wasn't scared. I was more worried for the animal."

The owner of the animal quickly noticed the gator had escaped and came to retrieve it before officers with the Montreal police (SPVM) arrived on scene.

"He picked him up, and brought him back into his minivan," said Samaha.

Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante wrote on Twitter that the animal was used for educational presentations, and the owners had all their permits in order.

Samaha is a food and travel blogger and admitted that she has, in the past, tasted the animal she was protecting Sunday.

"A long time ago I had alligator soup, but I wasn't looking at this one and thinking: 'Mmmm, soup," she said with a laugh. "I was more worried."

Samaha is an animal lover and was happy when the alligator's owner picked up the animal and put him back.

"It was a bit surprising and shocking to see an alligator crossing the street in Montreal," said Samaha.