Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Authorities in Tennessee said a wildlife officer rescued a 2-foot alligator abandoned in a cooler next to the water in a wooded area.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said Jackson County wildlife officer Travis Cowan responded recently to a spot next to a body of water at the Boils Wildlife Management Area.
Cowan found a cooler next to the water containing a 24-inch alligator.
The agency said investigators believe a person had been planning to dump the alligator into the water, but left it in the cooler when they were interrupted by another visitor to the shore.
Officials said the alligator would not have survived in the cold water.
"It is also inhumane and it took an officer away from much more important duties," the agency said.