Alert: Aggressive Alligator Spotted Near New York, Park Closed
Police officers just outside New York State unsuccessfully shot at an alligator that's been scaring residents for about a week and is still missing.
Members of a small New Jersey town have spent days searching for an alligator that's still on the loose, despite being shot at by local police.
On Friday, the Middlesex Police Department confirmed reports that there was a small alligator in the Ambrose Brook.
"The alligator is estimated to be approximately 3-4 feet in length. We are working closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Conservation Police to capture and relocate the reptile. If observed, please contact the Middlesex Police Department immediately or dial 9-1-1. DO NOT approach or attempt to capture the animal," police stated.
On Monday, the Middlesex Police Department confirmed the gator is still loose. Police are still working with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish & Wildlife Conservation Police Officers in an effort to relocate an alligator, which has been seen in the waters of Lake Creighton, commonly known as the Duck Pond, and the Ambrose Brook, which is a conduit between the lake and the Raritan River.
"Police officers responded to Victor Crowell Park on Wednesday, August 23, and made attempts to capture and remove the threat from the potentially dangerous species of non-indigenous reptile, which is capable of inflicting serious or fatal injuries. The alligator was again located by officers on Saturday night in Lake Creighton and later in the Ambrose Brook, however the area in which it was located was not accessible to make capture feasible," police stated on Monday.
Police also confirmed an officer fired a shot at the reptile.
"Because the threat to public safety that this reptile causes is significant, a Middlesex Police Officer employed a safe discharge from a firearm in an attempt to neutralize it, while in close proximity. The alligator immediately submerged into the brook and it was unconfirmed if the attempt was successful," police said.
It's unknown if the alligator was struck.
"Citizens are strongly urged to stay away from Creighton Lake and Ambrose Brook and should NOT approach or make attempts to capture the alligator. They should contact the Middlesex Borough Police Department at 732-356-1900 if the reptile is observed in the area," Chief Matthew P. Geist stated. "These are the law enforcement partnerships we count on to help protect our community from this potential threat to the public health."
There are unconfirmed reports the gator was seen in Lake Creighton Monday morning. For the public's safety, Victor Crowell Park will be closed to the public for a minimum of 72 hours or until such time that the alligator is deemed to no longer be a threat, officials say.