August 31, 2009

Gator caught, one still loose in N.J.

Authorities in New Jersey said a 30-inch alligator was captured in the town of Sparta while a larger gator remained on the loose in Trenton.

Sparta police said a man discovered the 30-inch reptile behind the grill on his deck while preparing for a barbecue Aug. 22, the Morris County (N.J.) Daily Record reported Monday.

The alligator was captured by an animal control officer and turned over to the state Division of Fish and Wildlife. Authorities said they have not yet determined the origins of the alligator, which is illegal to keep as a pet in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, wildlife officials said they are searching for an alligator that was first spotted in Trenton's Stacy Pond weeks ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday. Traps were set after the first sightings and officials said further capture attempts were likely following the most recent sighting of the five-foot-long gator Sunday.