Alligator found crossing Brockton, Mass. street

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August 23, 2010, 9:38 pm

(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Brockton, Mass.) - There have been enough shark sightings this summer, this was a gator sighting - this one caught not in the water, but as it walked across this street.

A three foot long alligator, its jaws temporarily duck taped shut, now in the watchful grip of Brockton, Massachusetts Animal Control.

Animal Control Officer Brian Piche said he'd rather deal with an alligator than a pit bull.

The gator was on a Sunday morning stroll across the street in this residential neighborhood at Copeland St. and Clifton Avenue, wearing a leather spiked collar and dragging a long leash when it was spotted by firefighter Scott Hurst, newly nicknamed Gator, on his way into work.

Hurst thought it was an iguana.

Monday afternoon, the gator got a little squirmy, maybe trying to leave the Animal Control building and get outside into a puddle.

Piche said they are not often seen around here, though one was taken out of a pond back in 2005, by herpetologist Michael Ralbovsky.

It may not be common here in Brockton, but it is common throughout the northeast, people keeping wild animals as pets illegally, though numbers have gone down the past few years, due to New Hampshire outlawing the process a few years ago.

This alligator, these snakes, these lizards are just a few of the 300 animals Beverly-based Rainforest Reptile Shows is caring for after they were seized by law enforcement throughout New England and surrounding states.

Some of them travel around in Michael Ralbovsky's 24 foot long mobile museum.

Its days of street walking over, the Brockton gator's next stop is here, to join 3 year old Spike.

In the case of the Brockton alligator, animal control officers think it was illegally kept, one because they have not received report of a missing gator and two, because exotic animal permits tough to get - there are only 10 crocodilian permits in all of MA, according to Ralbovsky.

Tags: Brockton, Josh Brogadir, alligator
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