LOS ANGELES – What do you do when you find a 2-foot alligator strolling through your neighborhood?
Call the police. That’s what a resident in Venice, a coastal section of Los Angeles’ Westside, did early Wednesday when he spotted an alligator walking in the middle of the street.
Police who arrived at about 1:40 a.m. found the alligator crawling under a bush in someone’s front yard. Officers quickly corralled it into a trash bin and notified animal control, which arrived later to collect the reptile, said Sgt. Marc Reina of the Los Angeles Police Department.
The alligator was being held at an animal shelter until a representative from a local herpetology society could arrive to collect it. No one yet has claimed the alligator.
John Cook, who lives nearby, walked over to where the alligator was captured. Weird happenings are common in Venice and, in particular, his neighborhood.
“This definitely fits that category,” he said.
Reina said it was unusual to find an alligator wandering around Venice, especially that neighborhood. “That’s several blocks away from the beach,” he said.
In his 25 years with the department, Capt. Louis Dedeaux of the Los Angeles Animal Services Department said he has seen as many as 20 alligators, many of whom were confiscated from owners. “Chances are it got away from someone or got out of its confinement area,” Dedeaux said.
Alligators are a restricted species in California and require a possession permit.