"Residents of a Des Moines apartment complex walked out and were startled to see a large reptile resting in the parking lot," the ARL said in a Facebook post.
"They immediately reported it and waited anxiously until our Animal Services Officer arrived. While their fear was real, the alligator, it turns out, was not."
The alleged alligator actually was a 4-foot-long plush toy.
"The large stuffed alligator is now safe in the care of ARL Animal Services," the post said.