TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An alligator that went rogue a few weeks ago in New Jersey has been captured by police.
The Piscataway Township Police Department apprehended the four-foot-long, cold-blooded reptile around 10:10 p.m. Thursday night.
Officials said a concerned citizen reported the gator in a neighborhood where it was restrained until the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Fish & Wildlife Division took over.
The gator first went missing in late August when the Middlesex Borough Police Department shared a Facebook post of their efforts to relocate a gator that was spotted in local waters.
One officer shot at the gator in an attempt to neutralize it after multiple attempts to capture and remove the animal over a few days.
However, the alligator submerged into the water, and it was unclear at the time if the attempt was successful.
Officials deployed drones and searched the shoreline by boat.
A trap was also set on the lake’s edge in the area where the gator was previously spotted nearby. Numerous other traps had been prepared to be deployed.
That lake was closed for multiple days to the public and was closely monitored by officials.
“The presence of this alligator in our waterways posed a threat to the public safety of our community, which is our paramount mission as a police department,” Middlesex Borough Chief Matthew P. Geist said. “With the professional assistance of the Piscataway Police Department and the NJ Fish and Wildlife Conservation Police, with whom we have partnered throughout this wildlife investigation, the reptile was relocated to the Cape May County Zoo.”
Officers said the body of water the gator was in has been reopened to the public, but residents can’t fish or swim.