Trapping Conservation and Self-Reliance News

Pet Alligators on the Loose in PA
Sep 17, 2023 18:15 ET

[Reprinted from original]

See Ya Later? Fugitive Pet Alligators Invade Western Pennsylvania

Multiple sightings along a 4-mile stretch of the Kiskiminetas River raise alarms as winter looms; *we just want them caught, and we*re running out of time*

By Kris Maher
Sept. 16, 2023 7:00 am ET

KISKIMINETAS TOWNSHIP, Pa.*Police Chief Lee Bartolicius recently asked two residents if they happened to be missing one of their alligators.

The wellness checks were spurred by reports of a 4-foot alligator in the shallow, swift-moving Kiskiminetas River, a body of water half an hour east of Pittsburgh that is normally alligator-free. Multiple sightings along a 4-mile stretch of the river caused a stir across the region.

*In western Pennsylvania, none of us have specialized alligator training,* said Bartolicius. *This isn*t something they give you in the police academy.*

Alligators don*t venture on their own farther north than North Carolina. But that doesn*t account for untold numbers of them lounging in bedrooms and basements all the way to Wisconsin. Some northern states, where they won*t survive the winter, outlaw owning them. But some animals still get loose*or are released by skittish owners.

This August, a pet alligator named Fluffy was recovered in a creek outside Philadelphia, a second was caught at an apartment complex in Beltsville, Md., while another fugitive alligator eluded police in Middlesex, N.J. before being caught by police this month.

In Pennsylvania, the waters of the Kiski were once rust-colored from acid mine drainage, but now they run clear between steep green hills and draw families in kayaks, fly fishers in hip waders and retirees who stroll along a path on the riverbank.

Full story here.