Thursday, September 10, 2009

An alligator in Allentown

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on September 10 that an alligator had been found in Allentown, Pennsylvania:
One week after a 4-foot alligator was snared in a Trenton pond, a much larger cousin was caught in Allentown.

Early yesterday afternoon, a passerby reported seeing a 6-foot gator sunning itself on the bank of Jordan Creek in a busy park with a playground, basketball courts and baseball fields.

"We formulated a little bit of plan," said Police Capt. Stephen Mould. "I think it was based primarily on what we watched with The Crocodile Hunter" - the TV series hosted by Steve Irwin before the Aussie was killed by a stingray's barb.

After the gator's neck was snared in a loop of rope at the end of a pole, one of the police or animal control officers straddled the creature and forced its head down as it thrashed its tail. Tape secured the jaws, rope the legs.

"He looks healthy. He's nice and fat and sassy," said Gary Lee, a reptile lover from Emmaus, who said he'd probably keep it in a bathtub until he could find a home, perhaps at a Poconos reptile farm.

The critter, probably an abandoned or escaped pet, seemed to be about 10 to 15 years old, Lee told the Allentown Morning Call.

It was estimated to weigh about 130 pounds.

The Trenton gator, recovered by state biologists on Sept. 2, was lured into a big trap using chicken legs and chicken livers, according to Darlene Yuhas, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

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