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Escaped caiman captured after five weeks on the loose

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Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Residents of an Oklahoma City neighborhood said a caiman -- a reptile similar to an alligator -- was captured after about five weeks on the loose.

Tara Cantwell said a man started going door to door about five weeks ago to ask neighbors if they had spotted his pet, a small caiman that got loose during a storm.

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"All of us, for five weeks, had to keep our eye out that every time we went to walk with our families there wasn't an alligator scurrying across somebody's yard, coming to snatch your little ankles," Cantwell told KOCO-TV.

Cantwell said another neighbor found the caiman in a flower bed and was able to capture the reptile, but not before it bit him.

"They had some netting in their garage. They put it over him and picked it up and put it into an Igloo cooler," she said. "Its head was about as big as my hand."

Animal control officials said the owner of the caiman has been ordered to get rid of the caiman or move it out of the city, where ownership of the animals is illegal. They said the man who was bitten by the animal declined to file a report, so no charges are expected against the owner.

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Oklahoma City police responded earlier this year to a report of an "alligator" on the loose in a residential neighborhood. Officers arrived and took custody of the reptile, which turned out to be an Argentine tegu lizard.

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