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Piscataway police captures wild alligator after 2 week chase

On August 23, a wild alligator was found in Middlesex Borough and captured two weeks later. Officials do not know how the reptile reached the state as alligators are not native to New Jersey. – Photo by Matthew Essman / Unsplash

After more than a week of searching for a wild alligator in Middlesex Borough, Piscataway police officers captured the reptile last Thursday, according to an article from My Central Jersey.

The alligator was held down and harnessed by officers on a residential road after a citizen reported the 3- to 4-foot alligator to police. The alligator was first seen on August 23 in a lake in Victor Crowell Park.

On Thursday, police took the animal into custody and placed it in a cell at police headquarters until Lt. Sean McManus of the Department of Environmental Protection's Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Law Enforcement took it, according to the article.

Early reports confirmed an officer shot once at the alligator, but no bullet wounds were found on the animal upon capture. Body camera footage of the capture was released to the public, according to an article from NJ Advance Media.

The report stated that the reptile was temporarily relocated to the Cape May County Zoo the next day. The alligator will be placed in a sanctuary later in the fall and will likely not be on display for the public at the zoo, said Kevin Wilson, general curator and supervising animal keeper.

Officials think the alligator was surviving in suburban rivers, canals and channels for approximately a month around Piscataway and Middlesex Borough, according to the article. They are unsure how the alligator arrived in Middlesex County since the reptile is not native to New Jersey, according to the article.

After careful surveillance, the Middlesex Borough Park has since been opened to the public. No fishing or swimming is allowed in the lake.

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