The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection responded to a report of an alligator sighting in Powers Lake in East Lyme Tuesday and said they cannot confirm that there was an alligator.
They said a resident reported seeing a foot-long alligator from a distance and DEEP Environmental Conservation police visited the location and interviewed the witness.
“The presence of an alligator could not be confirmed,” DEEP said in a statement.
Austin Gillesbie, an avid swimmer who enjoys spending summer days at Powers Lake, said he isn't quite sold on the alligator sighting.
“I mean I wouldn’t think that there is like a big one out there that anybody would necessarily be worried about.”
In fact, Gillesbie has a different theory.
“I believe somebody got their hands on a baby alligator and probably came down here, threw it in for whatever reason,” Gillesbie said. “I can’t imagine that it’s been here for very long just because of the winter’s here.”
Connecticut State Environmental Police went to the site Tuesday to talk with boaters and check the water.
Lisa Schuba was in Connecticut with her son, Jack, and dog, Nugget, Tuesday to visit her dad and said she had no idea what was happening during DEEP's investigation.
"The animal control pulled up and immediately I got the dogs and put them on leashes so I was really worried and the officer goes, ‘We’re not here for that dog, we’re here to look for an alligator,’” Schuba said.
She spoke with the man who reported spotting the alligator and had to ask if he really knew it was indeed a reptile.
“He said he was from the south, and mentioned that he used to hunt gators, I know a gator when I see one,” Schuba said.
The Schubas said this is the first time they've heard of a gator sighting at the lake since they first started coming.
“A little different from our past summers, so we’re coming back to alligator hunt,” said Schuba.
DEEP officials urge visitors to be cautious of their surroundings.