PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (WABC) -- An alligator that caused a New Jersey park to close last week has been captured.
A concerned citizen called the police Thursday night to report that they spotted an alligator in the roadway near Second Avenue in Piscataway.
When authorities responded, Piscataway Patrol Officer Ian Paglia put a leash around the 4-foot-long gator's neck.
"The officers were able to kind of surround and corral it, one officer was able to put his foot on top of the head of the alligator to keep its mouth from opening," said Deputy Chief Michelle Pilch. "They used a dog snare that we have here, wrapped it around the alligator's neck."
Like all captured fugitives, the gator was placed in the back seat of the patrol car and taken to the station house and placed behind bars.
It was eventually relocated to the Cape May County Zoo.
The Middlesex Borough Police Department first received a report of a small alligator seen at Victor Crowell Park last Wednesday afternoon.
The alligator had been spotted in Lake Creigton, commonly known as the Duck Pond, and Ambrose Brook in Victor Crowell Park.
A couple of days later, a witness said they saw the alligator attack a duck and pull it under the water. Officers tried to shoot the gator but it got away into the water.
"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. 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," said Chief Matthew P. Geist, Piscataway Police Department.
Alligators are not native to New Jersey, so it is not clear how the animal got loose.
Although possession of alligators is illegal in New Jersey, they are sometimes purchased out of state. Owners often release the reptiles in local water bodies when they can no longer care for them.
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