3 1/2-Foot Alligator Found Near River
By KENNETH R. GOSSELIN | The Hartford Courant
March 23, 2009
SOUTH WINDSOR — - There's plenty of wildlife along the Connecticut River, but a resident out on a walk got quite the eyeful Sunday.
An alligator, measuring about 3 1/2 -feet long and weighing about 25 pounds, was discovered by police about noon in a marshy area on Vibert Road near the town's sewer treatment plant — a few hundred yards from the river.
A woman walking in the area had reported spotting something "unusual" in the river, said Sgt. Scott Custer, a police spokesman.
The state Department of Environmental Protection was called in, snared the reptile and placed it in a large wooden dog crate.
The DEP told police that the reptile, which appeared to have been released in the past 24 hours, probably had been a pet and was being abandoned, Custer said.
In Connecticut, it is illegal to keep an alligator as a pet. There have been calls to clamp down on the enforcement of laws prohibiting the keeping of "exotic" pets after a chimpanzee in Stamford attacked a woman, leaving her with severe injuries. The story drew national attention.
"There's been a lot of hubbub since the chimp story," Custer said.
With temperatures expected to dip into the 20s, the 3-year-old alligator wouldn't have been able to survive more than a few days, Custer said.
The DEP is expected to remove the alligator today and place it with Massachusetts-based Rainforest Reptiles Shows, which educates the public about reptiles, animals and the importance of preserving the world's natural habitats.
link to news story in hartfors courant with video
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