Authorities seized a six-foot alligator in a West Springfield backyard Thursday afternoon, reports said.
The adult reptile, weighing as much as 200 pounds, was reported to police around noon following an anonymous call, according to Western Mass News. Police encountered the property owner, who led them to the backyard and the gator.
“It was found in a small enclosure similar to one that a dog would be kept in,” Western Mass News noted. The Zoo at Forest Park was then called in to help.
It took two animal control catch poles to capture the animal, according to The Associated Press.
West Springfield Police Capt. Michael Banas told the AP that in his 29 years of law enforcement he’s never encountered anything like this.
Banas said that the investigation has been turned over to state environmental police, according to Western Mass News.
Police confirmed to Boston.com that the alligator was being kept as a pet by the home’s owners. It’s reportedly illegal to own an alligator as a pet, and its former owner could face charges.