Even alligators like island-hopping!
Just four days after a Long Island family discovered a baby alligator in their backyard pool in Bayport, New York, another New Yorker found a 3-ft. gator in the woods on Staten Island.
Don Walters was out looking for fishing bait on Tuesday, when he came across an alligator “splashing in the water,” he told the Staten Island Advance. Being a native of Florida, he instinctually decided to catch it.
Using his fishing net, he was able to bring the gator to dry land, where he then taped the reptile’s mouth shut before his wife, Kim, called the authorities.
Officer Caldararo and Officer Reyes responded to a call of a found alligator in the wooded area of Cranford Avenue & Park Street. The alligator was safely removed and brought to the Brooklyn Animal Care Shelter @NYCACC! pic.twitter.com/k8OR4SmhHj— NYPD 122nd Precinct (@NYPD122Pct) July 24, 2019
The operator didn’t believe her at first, Kim told NBC New York, and she had to repeat herself three times to reassure them that she was not “delusional.”
“Like three times I had to say it was an alligator. Yes ,I promise I’m not crazy, I’m not stoned … not delusional,” Kim said. “I just got off work and we just caught an alligator.”
“I’ve seen skunk, groundhogs, beaver, fox deer … an alligator? Go figure,” Don told the outlet.
Two officers with the New York Police Department’s 122nd Precinct arrived to the scene and transported the gator to the Brooklyn Animal Care Shelter. Authorities aren’t sure where the animal came from.
Don and Kim believe someone was keeping the gator as a pet, and then let it go when it grew too large.
It is illegal to own an alligator as a pet in the state of New York. Ownership of alligators is only allowed for research, exhibition, or educational purposes, which requires a permit, according to CBS New York.
These two New York gator sightings are part of a recent rash of alligator sightings across the country in states where the American alligator is not a native species.