A family that was fishing near the Monongahela River made a very surprising discovery on Saturday: They saw an alligator sunning itself on the riverside trail and promptly called 911 to report it.
The gator, which weighed about 10 pounds and was around 3 feet long, tried to hide from officers underneath a fallen tree — making it difficult for them to use catch poles and tongs to grab it, according to a report from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Animal Care and Control.
Eventually, officers dug into the soil to create an opening and captured the alligator by hand about an hour after 911 had been called.
According to the officers on the scene, the alligator was likely a pet that someone released into the wild.
It was also apparently a bit overweight, which led officers to suspect that the alligator was eating well by the banks of the Monongahela.
The alligator, which was not injured and appeared healthy, will reportedly stay at Humane Animal Rescue until a shelter or refuge is identified for relocation.
This is not something you see every day — at least not in Pittsburgh: One family made a startling discovery when they spotted an alligator “sunning itself” while out fishing Saturday.
Officers from the Pittsburgh Public Safety and the Fish and Boat Commission responded to the scene near Monongahela River and found an alligator, measuring approximately 3 feet long and weighing around 10 pounds. But as officers tried to capture the reptile, it became clear that the freedom-loving alligator had other plans.
According to a statement from the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department, the alligator “tried to hide from the officers under a fallen tree, which rendered the officers catch poles and tongs (a grabbing device) ineffective.”
The alligator tried to hide from officers under a fallen tree, which rendered catch poles ineffective. (Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Public Safety Department)
Officers dug away at the soil to create an opening and captured the alligator with their hands. They used a nylon strip to tie the mouth closed, placed the alligator in a crate, and took it to the Humane Animal Rescue center.
Authorities said the alligator was likely a pet that someone released into the wild. The alligator was also slightly overweight, which meant the alligator was likely eating well by the banks of the Monongahela.
The alligator, which appeared healthy, will stay at Humane Animal Rescue until a shelter or refuge is identified for relocation.
“Alligators are not common to Pittsburgh — they require a warm climate and would not survive winter [in Pittsburgh],” the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department said.