Tennessee angler reels in alligator

NORRIS, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Monday afternoon an angler on Norris Lake, in East Tennessee, reeled in an unusual catch—an alligator.

It was reported to be three to four feet and was caught on Dotson Creek in Union County. The alligator is now safe at the Little Ponderosa Zoo.

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The catch has many some residents wondering if alligators have started migrating into Tennessee. In this case, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) said this was an isolated case where someone illegally had and then illegally dropped the alligator off into the lake.

Barry Cross, the TWRA Outreach and Communications Coordinator, said it’s a rare sight but alligators have moved into southwest Tennessee. The number of alligators spotted can be listed on two hands, Cross said.

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Alligators have been in southwest Tennessee for over 20 years and the population hasn’t grown by much. This means migration isn’t a threat.

Alligators are a protected species in Tennessee. This is different than states, like Florida and Mississippi, where hunting for alligators is seasonal since the population is more stable.

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