An alligator was safely captured in a West Springfield, Massachusetts river on Tuesday (December 7) after reports of it being spotted on numerous occasions dating back to this past summer.
The West Springfield Animal Control confirmed the alligator was located by a Good Samaritan at Westfield River and transported to the Massachusetts Environmental Police in good condition, WWLP reports.
WWLP received a video of an alligator reported to be swimming in Westfield River on Monday (December 6) by a man who was fishing in the area, who said the reptile was stationary before swimming away.
Jeremy White, of Agawam, saw the video shared on WWLP's website and went looking for the alligator in an attempt to save it the following day.
White said he drove to the river, got in his kayak and searched for a while before spotting the reptile and calling the environmental police.
“I caught it and I had to carry my boat back to my car with the gator, and then I called them [Environmental Police] after I got back to the car. Some people spotted me carrying an alligator and the boat and they were like, “Is that the alligator?,” and I’m like, “Yes, that’s the alligator,” White said.
White, a fan of late famed zookeeper Steve Irwin, said he estimates the reptile was about three feet in length.
The local nonprofit organization West Springfield Environmental Committee said its received several reports of an alligator in the area of Westfield River dating back to August, with the most recent report coming between late September and early October.
Officials said they believe the alligator was a pet that had gotten released into the area.
Authorities said the alligator will be sent to a licensed reptile rescue.