PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (WABC) — Last week, an alligator that prompted a New Jersey park closure was captured in a nearby area.
A concerned citizen reported to police Thursday night that they spotted an alligator on the road near Second Avenue in Piscataway.
When authorities responded, Piscataway Patrol Trooper Ian Paglia put a leash around the 4-foot-long alligator’s neck. Officers drove him to Piscataway Police Headquarters and secured him in a jail cell.
They had to wait for the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife because Edison Animal Control didn’t have the capacity to handle the alligator.
Middlesex Borough Police first received a report that a baby crocodile had been spotted in Victor Crowell Park last Wednesday afternoon.
The alligator was found in Craigton Lake, commonly known as Duck Pond, and Ambrose Creek in Victor Crowell Park.
Days later, a witness said they saw the crocodile attack a duck and drag it underwater.
The next day, police spotted the crocodile and attempted to kill it by shooting it at close range.
The crocodile immediately submerged into the water.
“The presence of this alligator in our waterways poses a threat to public safety in our community, which is our top priority as a police department. With the professional assistance of the Piscataway Police Department and the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Conservation Police We have cooperated throughout the wildlife investigation and the reptile has been transferred to the Cape May County Zoo,” said Piscataway Police Chief Matthew P. Guest.
The alligator is not native to New Jersey, so it’s unclear how it escaped.
Although it is illegal to own an alligator in New Jersey, alligators are sometimes purchased out of state. When owners can no longer care for these reptiles, they often release them into local bodies of water.
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