"It wasn't like an episode of the Crocodile Hunter or anything. But it is kind of unusual. It was a first for me," said Nick Burge with the Arizona Herpetological Association. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Arizona is home to its share of reptiles. But Saturday about 10:30 p.m. one west Valley family found a critter on their doorstep that ain't from around these parts. It was a 2-foot alligator!
Nick Burge with the Arizona Herpetological Association was called to remove the animal.
"It wasn't like an episode of the Crocodile Hunter or anything. But it is kind of unusual. It was a first for me," Burge said.
No one knows how long the little gator was lost wandering the neighborhood near 75th Avenue and Camelback Road.
"All he was doing was sitting there in the corner, in the dark, under a bush. We believe he had been in the grass looking for the sprinkler that had just been on. He was very dehydrated," said Burge.
The capture didn't take long.
"We took a small towel and gently placed it over the mouth after he ran around for a few minutes," said Burge.
On Sunday the alligator was turned over to the Arizona Herpetological Society. Daniel Marchand who is the curator at the facility told CBS 5 News it's a good thing he was found.
"They shouldn't exist here but they can exist here. These guys can survive in extreme heat and extreme cold. This animal turned loose in our desert would survive and grow full size with no problem," said Marchand.
It is illegal to have a pet alligator in the State of Arizona. The alligator has had too much interaction with people to be released back into the wild. For now it will be kept at the Phoenix Herpetological Society and later be a part of education programs.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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