MANHATTAN, Kan. (KPR) — Just how many alligators are living in Wildcat Creek? Authorities may not know. The Riley County Police Department responded to reports of an alligator sighting along Wildcat Creek this (THUR) morning. But the alligator is not one of the two that went missing from a local pet store. Animal Control Officers were notified and were able to locate a small alligator swimming in the creek. The owners of Reptile World were contacted, but claim the animal is not one of the alligators taken from their store, as those two alligators were much larger in size. One of the two alligators missing from the pet store was found in Wildcat Creek but died while authorities tried to capture it.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism was contacted to determine a course of action, but a game warden said KDWPT had no plans to capture the animal at this time because it did not pose a threat to the public. Meanwhile, the public is advised to use caution in the area. Linear Trail will remain open but no swimming, wading, or playing is allowed in Wildcat Creek at any time.
“Sometimes people illegally capture or buy alligators when they’re small, thinking they would make a good pet,” said T. Russel Reitz Animal Shelter Director Deb Watkins. “This could be one of those cases. Anyone who owns an alligator is required to have a state license and large alligators require a pet store license.”
Alligators are not native to Kansas and have no ability to survive winter temperatures here. Caution signs are in place and the public is advised to remain on the trail if walking or biking in the area.
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