An alligator that has been spotted by numerous fishermen and kayakers for several months in Western Massachusetts has been captured.
MassWildlife reports an alligator that has been the subject of sightings in West Springfield in the Westfield River was finally captured by a Good Samaritan on Tuesday, Dec. 7, said Massachusetts Wildlife spokeswoman Marion Larson.
"The capture was fortunate as this cold-blooded animal would not have survived the winter," Larson said.
Sightings and pictures of the alligator near the Morgan Sullivan Bridge in West Springfield, Massachusetts, were first reported to state wildlife and local officials in mid-August.
At the time, several unsuccessful attempts were made to find and capture the animal, Larson said.
West Springfield Animal Control said the most recent gator sightings they received were in late September and early October.
On Monday, Dec. 6, local TV news media aired a video taken by a fisherman showing the alligator swimming in the river near the Eastern States Exposition in Hampden County in West Springfield.
Several kayakers were inspired to try to locate and capture the alligator that day but were unsuccessful.
On Tuesday, an avid angler, Hampden County resident Jeremy White, of Agawam, who had seen the news coverage and knew the area decided to fish in the area while looking for the reptile, Larson said.
He saw the alligator on a log, basking in the sun, captured it, and subsequently contacted MassWildlife officials.
Arrangements were made for the Environmental Police to transport the approximately four-foot animal to MassWildlife’s care.
MassWildlife’s plan is to place the alligator at a suitable and permitted educational or scientific facility.
Alligators and other related crocodilians may not be kept as a pet in Massachusetts.
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