New Jersey park closed due to alligator on the loose

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Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Police in New Jersey announced a public park will remain closed for 72 hours while authorities search for an alligator confirmed to be on the loose in the area.

The Middlesex Borough Police Department said it first received a report of an alligator at Victor Crowell Park on Wednesday, and further sightings were reported on subsequent days.


The department said officers were able to locate the alligator on Saturday and one officer discharged a firearm in an attempt to neutralize the gator, but it was unclear whether the shot connected.

Local residents reported spotting the alligator again Monday morning, and local police resumed their search alongside New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Conservation Police.

Police used drones to search for the gator in the area of Lake Creigton and Ambrose Brook. One of the drones ended up stuck in a tree.

"In the interest of the public safety of our community, Victor Crowell Park will be closed to the public for a minimum of 72 hours or until such time that the alligator is deemed to no longer be a threat," Middlesex Police Chief Matthew Geist said Monday on the department's Facebook page.


The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is asking anyone who spots the alligator, estimated to be 3 to 4 feet long, to contact Fish and Wildlife officials so they can set a humane trap.

Alligators are not legal to keep as pets in New Jersey.

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