ANDERSON, Ind., July 29 (UPI) -- People involved in a volunteer river clean-up effort in Anderson, Ind., said they were shocked when a log they attempted to move turned out to be an alligator.
The volunteers said the reptile was surprised, but it was not aggressive and did not try to attack anyone, WRTV-TV, Indianapolis, reported Tuesday.
County officials turned the animal over to Ed Roemer, a pet shop owner in Anderson, Ind., to nurse the alligator back to health. Officials said burns and marks found on the chin and legs on the animal indicate it may have been a pet who was confined and neglected.
"He's lucky someone found him because he wouldn't make it through our winters here," Roemer said.
He said people releasing pet alligators into the wild has become an increasingly common phenomenon.
"It's been happening more and more. People get them, they don't know how to take care of them and they just turn them loose," he said.