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Environment


Stark County park rangers catch an alligator in Canton
They suspect the gator was a pet that got to be too much for its owner
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
An alligator was caught in the West Branch of Nimishillen Creek in Canton's Water Works park.
Courtesy of Tim Kiser
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In The Region:

An alligator cruising down the creek in Canton’s Water Works Park drew considerable attention yesterday.  And it wasn't a little gator either.  

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The male American Alligator is close to 4 feet long, with light and dark markings. Dan George of the Stark County Park District says his office got a call from Canton police around 3 p.m.  They had been called by a citizen walking in the park near where U.S. Route 30 crosses west of the city’s downtown. George says the gator likely belonged to someone in the area.

“We’re assuming it was someone’s pet and it just got too big to keep around the house," George says. "It’s illegal to have an exotic animal, so they just let it loose, and there’s a creek nearby.”

George says the capture of the alligator went smoothly.

“The guys were able to walk right up on it, and they tapped its mouth and feet up," George says. "It wasn’t injured so we brought it back here. We’re looking for someone to take it who can legally have it.”

The gator could end up in a holding center opened by the state near Columbus after Ohio passed an exotic animal ban last year. 

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