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Alligator escapes enclosure, gets stuck between fences at Australian zoo

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Keepers at an Australian zoo faced a dangerous situation when an alligator used floodwaters to escape from its enclosure and ended up trapped between fences.

The Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, New South Wales, said floodwaters allowed a male American alligator to cross an internal boundary fence, but the large reptile then found it was trapped between the boundary and a second fence.

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Jake Meney, the zoo's head reptile keeper, said workers had to lift the alligator back into the enclosure by hand.

Meney told News.com.au the rains complicated the rescue operation by making both the ground and the alligator "incredibly slippery."

"You never really know the temperament of an alligator, so although this guy was pretty happy to be relocated, we have to be prepared for him to change his mind at any stage," he said. "Although there was no danger of him breaching the main boundary fence near visitors, there was still no way he would have been able to get back into the lagoon on his own."

The zoo posted a video to YouTube showing zookeepers returning the alligator to its home.

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Officials said animals will be closely monitored to ensure they are safe and secure in their enclosures during the storms that are expected to continue for the remainder of the week.

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