Authorities in St. Mary's County, Md., said they are searching for a loose alligator in the county after video evidence of the reptile was captured by a resident. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Wildlife officials in Maryland said they now are attempting to capture a loose alligator in the state after initial reports were considered to be unfounded.
Officials in St. Mary's County said an alligator was initially reported to be on the loose in the area in 2020, but the sighting was considered unfounded, and no efforts were launched to locate the reptile.
Stephen Walker, Director of the Department of Emergency Services for St. Mary's County, said efforts are now underway to locate the alligator after a resident captured what was described as video evidence of the animal's presence.
"There's a wildlife agent in the county that has taken it on [whom] we are just now starting to support," Walker told TheBayNet.com.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been in contact with the county.
"DNR is not involved in the capture attempt, but has been in contact with local authorities, who are equipped to handle this as an animal control issue," spokesman Gregg Bortz said.
Officials did not offer an estimate of the alligator's size.
Walker said officials are not revealing the precise location of the alligator for public safety reasons. He said nearby residents would be notified.
Alligators are not native to Maryland and they are not legal to own privately. Officials said they are hoping to capture the alligator and relocate it to Florida.