WEST SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS – While acting on a tip, police discovered an alligator in an enclosure in the backyard of a Main Street home. The animal was extracted and taken to Springfield’s Forest Park Zoo.
An American Alligator was rescued from a home in West Springfield, Thursday afternoon, and moved to the Forest Park Zoo.
22News was at the Zoo in Springfield where we were able to take some video of the alligator, which is 5 feet long and weighs 150 to 200 pounds.
Katie Gronendyke, of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, told 22News, around 12:18 p.m., Environmental Police were notified by West Springfield Police that the alligator was being kept at a private home in West Springfield.
West Springfield Police Sgt. Nolan Ryan said the department received an anonymous tip that an alligator was in a cage in a backyard on Main Street. When police arrived, the property owner showed them the animal.
Police called the Forest Park Zoo and they came and took the animal away.
Zoo workers used specialized capture poles to secure the alligator. “A couple of snare poles. We had one around the back end, and one around the front end. And then we just pulled him right up. As long as he didn’t roll, we were find. And then we just put him in the back of our truck and drove him home,” said John Lewis, the curator of the Zoo in Forest Park.
Lewis said the pet alligator had probably been in that Main Street yard for quite some time. He said they’ll have a veterinarian check his health, before deciding what’s next.
Sgt. Ryan declined to give the name of the property owner, or the exact street address. He also said it is illegal to own an alligator in Massachusetts; no word if any charges are pending.
The Environmental Police are currently investigating.