Environmental officials in New York are searching for the the fifth alligator spotted since April in a Long Island river. The gator was most recently seen Saturday but has been prowling the waterway for at least a week. The sightings occurred in the same area of the Peconic River where four alligators were captured in April. Authorities report that 17 gators have been found in the wild or turned over this year.
“People are buying them as pets. They're getting too big and then they’re letting them go,” local resident Steve Hickey (who presumably does not own a gator) announced. The fine for owning an alligator is $250. Anyone who releases a gator faces up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Officials now will try to catch the gator. “They use chicken, catch poles and nets,” Matt Blaisings of the NYS Environmental Conservation told Fox News. “They’re using nets in the river itself to try to contain and isolate the animal.”