An agitated adult alligator was discovered and captured by police Monday morning at the height of rush hour on a busy highway on Long Island.
Two drivers spotted the gator on the eastbound lane of the Long Island Expressway between exits 68 and 69, and called 911. Police responded to the call and discovered a moody reptile that was clearly out of its element.
The officers immediately called the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but managed to contain it with plastic crates.
“It’s not something you hear coming over the radio everyday,” said Suffolk County police spokesman Michael Sharkey. “It’s a little unusual for Suffolk county.”
SPCA chief Roy Gross said the gator is now in custody, but still very dangerous.
“This gator is vicious,” Gross told NBC New York. “It’s more than 3 feet long and has been eating very well. We’re not letting anyone near the gator.”
The gator was located on the south side of the lane and likely ventured up to the road from the woods, police said. Where it came from before that is a mystery.
It was likely purchased as a baby, then abandoned once it became too big to keep, according to Sharkey.
It is illegal to own, possess and abandon wild animals in New York State, including alligators.
The SPCA is offering a $1,000 reward for information on who abandoned it.