June 19 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said they are searching for two suspects accused of abandoning an injured alligator inside a convenience store.
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded about 2:24 a.m. Friday to a report of a 3-foot alligator inside the Wawa store in Lakewood Ranch.
Sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow said deputies contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which dispatched a trapper to capture the gator and remove it from the store.
Investigators said witnesses reported two men brought the reptile into the store abandoned it.
An alligator was photographed inside an American Freight furniture store last year in Florida's Pasco County, but on that occasion the gator had been brought into the store by deputies after they captured it in the parking lot. The store's management allowed the deputies to take the gator through the store to reach a lake behind the building.