Animal control officials on Long Island recovered a 3-foot long crocodile from a parking lot Tuesday.
The crocodile was in an open-top cardboard box in the parking lot on Melville Park Road in Melville, according to Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross. Officers recovered it after an anonymous caller notified a local animal shelter.
Gross said investigators believe the caller may have been the one who dumped the reptile.
The crocodile was "very aggressive" and its mouth had to be taped shut, he said.
The SPCA is working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation police to identify the person who left the crocodile in the parking lot.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information in the case, authorities announced.
Whoever dumped the creature could face misdemeanor charges, Gross said. If they had surrendered the animal to police, they could have been given amnesty.
It is illegal to own a crocodile in New York without a license.