July 20 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Virginia said they captured an unusual visitor to the waters in the southwest part of the state -- an alligator.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said the animal, an American alligator, was first spotted in the Gate City area on Thursday and a search was launched to locate the non-native reptile.
The approximately 3-foot gator was captured by officials around midday Friday.
Officials said the alligator is believed to be a pet that escaped or was abandoned by its owner. Alligators are legal to keep as pets in Virginia, but failing to report an escape can lead to misdemeanor charges.