An alligator that disrupted normal life in the region for 2 weeks was finally caught in New Jersey.
New Jersey law enforcement and wildlife officials have teamed up on an alligator search team to catch the reptile, which has been roaming two cities for two weeks, CNN reports.
The Middlesex County Police Department has been covering the missing alligator saga on its Facebook page.
The alligator, described as a “non-native reptile” measuring 90 to 120 cm in length, was first spotted in Ambrose Creek at Victor Crowell Park in Middlesex County on August 23. Middlesex County is located approximately 60 km southwest of New York City.
After the reptile was discovered for the first time, the park was immediately closed to the public; at the moment, fishing and swimming are prohibited there.
The police department, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation Police and several other agencies were searching for the alligator while he was not caught in another city on Thursday evening.
Piscataway Township police say they caught the alligator around 10 p.m. after a concerned resident saw the reptile in the Possumtown neighborhood, located 3 kilometers southeast of where it was first spotted in the park. .
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Footage from patrol officer Ian Paglia’s camera shows the alligator trying to escape down one of the streets, but is surrounded on both sides by the bright flashing lights of police cars.
The reptile then ran off into the grass as officers followed. Officers held the alligator in place with their feet while Paglia restrained it with a special leash.
The alligator, which “appeared to be in good condition and with no visible injuries,” was turned over to the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife and then taken to the Cape May County Zoo for a temporary stay before being transported to a sanctuary in Florida.
Alligators are considered a potentially dangerous species in New Jersey, where their possession is illegal, according to New Jersey Fish and Wildlife. Wildlife officials say the reptiles are sometimes purchased out of state and brought into New Jersey illegally.
“Owners often release them into local waters when they realize they can no longer care for the animal,” New Jersey Fish and Wildlife said in a Facebook post.
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