Alligator running wild finally caught in NJ neighborhood
🚨 The alligator was first seen in Middlesex Borough's Victor Crowell Park
🚨 Middlesex Borough police announced Thursday the alligator appeared to have left
🚨 It was spotted Thursday night on a street in Piscataway's Possumtown section
The alligator spotted in a Middlesex Borough's park was captured 3 miles away late Thursday night downstream in Piscataway.
The alligator, first spotted in Middlesex Borough's Victor Crowell Park, appears to have followed the Ambrose Brook approximately 3 miles southeast to the Possumtown section of Piscataway.
Piscataway police said the four-foot alligator was spotted in the roadway on Second Avenue around 10:10 p.m. Responding officers subdued the gator, which allowed patrol officer Ian Paglia to put a leash around its neck.
It was taken to police headquarters in a patrol vehicle and held in a cell block.
Piscataway Deputy police chief Michelle Pilch told New Jersey 101.5 she thought it was a joke when her desk lieutenent texted her a picture of alligator in a cell block. She said the officers who responded were acting on instinct as they don't receive any special training about handling animals. The alligator tried to run away but the officers formed a circle around it.
"They kind of just improvised and they were able to put their boot on the end of the alligator's head to keep it from opening its mouth while they got the snare around. Once that was around you can imagine how it was thrashing but they they guided it towards the car and then we actually put it in our cellblock area to keep it contained until they could pick it up," Pilch said.
Once the snare was around the alligator's neck it got agitated and tried to bite anything around it.
Quick thinking officers
Pilch said she was proud of the way her officers handled the unusual situation.
"They were quick thinking. They utilized you know what they had to make it work, specifically patrolling Ian Paglia. He did a great job in handling the animal and remaining calm. So I do commend him for that," Pilch said.
It's not the first time Piscataway officers have had to handle an alligator. Pilch said an alligator had to be captured in the 1990s before she was with the department.
What's next for the gator?
Edison Animal Control, which also handles animal control in Piscataway, was not able to handle an alligator. Lt. Sean Mcmanus from the Department of Environmental Protection's Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Law Enforcement took possession of the gator.
Pilch said the gator will be taken to the Cape May County Zoo.
The alligator was first spotted over a week ago in Middlesex Borough's Victor Crowell Park and last seen in the waters near a small island Lake Creighton on Aug. 30.
After a week with no additional sightings Middlesex Borough police Thursday said the gator was likely no longer in the township.
It is not known how the alligator wound up in the park.