A 3-foot-long alligator was discovered in a New Jersey parking lot (Picture: Monmouth County SPCA)
A man in New Jersey found a young alligator abandoned in a parking lot adjacent to his home, authorities said.
Late on Sunday night, a man in Neptune, New Jersey discovered a strange plastic bin on a vacant lot next to his home.
Inside the large black tote was a 3-foot-long juvenile alligator. In photos shared by the rescuers, the alligator appears to be swimming in a thin layer of water.
He called animal control, who took custody of what appeared to be somebody’s abandoned exotic pet.
The alligator was found in a black tote with a small pool of water (Picture: Monmouth County SPCA)
Alligators are not native to New Jersey, and cannot survive in the frigid winters of the American northeast. The temperature on Sunday night dipped below freezing after the gator was found.
The gator was brought to a shelter at the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty (SPCA), where it was given a clean tank and a climate-controlled living space.
Police are still investigating and hoping to get more information about the person who abandoned the gator.
On Tuesday, the gator was brought to its new home at the Cape May County Zoo (Picture: Monmouth County SPCA)
‘It is illegal for New Jersey residents to keep alligators or caimans, which are considered potentially dangerous exotic species,’ Monmouth County SPCA Director Ross Licitra stated. ‘Not only is it a danger to the public, but these animals, when kept in captivity, need very specific care that only professionals can provide.’
On Tuesday afternoon, the SPCA provided another update. ‘Happy to report that this little cold-blooded cutie was picked up and will be heading over to Cape May Zoo,’ they said.
In December, a massive 10-foot alligator was spotted swimming off the Atlantic coast in Florida – much closer to its native habitat of freshwater swamps and rivers in the Sunshine State.
Alligators don’t typically live in salt water, but they can tolerate it for shorter periods of time.
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