Alligator found in Old Bridge by man walking dog
OLD BRIDGE — Here's something you don't see every day in Central Jersey.
Animal control officials on Thursday were called to remove what is either a two-foot alligator or caiman from a pond off Brookside Avenue.
The alligator was first spotted by a man walking his dog near Duhernal Lake.
Old Bridge Animal Shelter said the alligator is now in the custody of animal control officials, "so, no, he is not up for adoption," they posted on Facebook. "But we have decided we DO have some pretty brave and versatile Animal Control Officers."
State Fish and Wildlife officials are working with local animal control officials to relocate it to an alligator rescue operation in Pennsylvania.
It is illegal for New Jersey residents to keep alligators or caimans, which are considered potentially dangerous exotic species, state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna said.
"People frequently purchase them then release them into rivers and lakes when they get too big for the aquarium they’re living in. They are not likely to survive the cold of winter in these waters," Hajna said. "The Division of Fish and Wildlife is working to determine who may have released this particular animal."
Alligators are native to the southern United States and are common in Florida and Louisiana. They prefer freshwater lakes and ponds.
Gators have been spotted before in the Garden State.
Last year, one was found in an Atlantic City pool.
A year earlier, two alligators were pulled from a lake in Jackson.
All the alligators were no more than a couple of feet, although they can grow to be more than 10 feet long.