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Alligator found in Indiana pond after three weeks on the loose

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July 28 (UPI) -- An alligator was safely captured in an Indiana pond three weeks after vanishing from his habitat, rescuers said.

Indiana Wild, a Woodburn-based educational group that adopts former exotic pets and gives presentations to schools and churches, said rescuers jumped into action Thursday when an alligator was spotted in a retention pond in the Ashlar Pointe neighborhood.

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The 3-foot gator, named Bert, had vanished from his enclosure at Indiana Wild three weeks earlier. Officials said they do not know how the reptile managed to get past two different fences.

"It was discovered the side gate at the time was latched but not locked," Indiana Wild director Beth Wood told WANE-TV. "It is possible someone stole him, but we have no idea."

Bert, a former pet who has lived at Indiana Wild for about two years, was returned to the facility.

"We're excited to have him back," Wood said.

Wood said extra security has been added to the alligator enclosure and security cameras have been set up to monitor the animals.

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