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Alligator captured in rural New Plymouth, Idaho

The person placed the alligator in a nearby horse trailer until officers could retrieve it, Idaho Fish & Game officials said.

BOISE, Idaho — It’s not uncommon for Idaho wildlife authorities to be called for help when a moose, mountain lion, black bear or other wild animal migrates into one of the state’s rural communities.

But Idaho Fish and Game officials are asking the public for help with a particularly unusual find — a 3.5-foot alligator discovered hiding in the scrub of a rural neighborhood about 40 miles northwest of Boise.

A New Plymouth resident was walking his dog Thursday night when he noticed something moving in the brush. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said in a press release. Further research uncovered the alligator — a creature common to the coastal wetlands of the southeastern U.S. but certainly not native to Idaho.

The resident placed the alligator in a nearby horse trailer until Idaho Fish and Game conservation officials could pick it up Friday morning, the release said. The department has the animal in captivity for now, but a spokesman said so Statesman of Idaho that it be euthanized or transferred to a licensed facility unless the owner is found.

“Most likely, this alligator broke free from someone, and we’re interested in finding the owner,” regional conservation officer Matt O’Connell said in the release.

Idaho Fish and Game officials hope members of the public will call the department if they have any information on the alligator’s origin.

According to the press release, it is illegal to own alligators or other crocodiles in Idaho without the proper permits. It is also illegal to release them into the wild.

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Val Lick contributed to this report. Alligator captured in rural New Plymouth, Idaho

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