PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Public Safety and the Fish and Boat Commission captured an alligator at the Southside Riverfront Park on Saturday.
Police said a family that was fishing along the Monongahela River saw the alligator around 1:15 p.m. and called 911.
Police said the alligator tried to hide from officers under a tree. Eventually, officers dug and created an opening and captured the alligator with their hands.
The alligator, now named Frankie, is being taken care of by Humane Animal Rescue.
"Staff have been able to go in and feed him and clean him with pretty much no response. One was petting him with a tongs and he was closing his eyes and enjoying it," Dr. Ariella Samson said.
Dr. Samson said it's not illegal to buy an alligator in Pennsylvania, so people will get baby ones as pets. However, once the animals grow the owners can't always take care of them.
"[Frankie] was probably adorable as a little baby alligator and even until he got up to two and a half feet, but at this point he could do real damage to someone," she said.
Animal Control officers were prepared to take the alligator to the Humane Animal Rescue in the East End, but they then received a report of a goat on Baum Boulevard. Officers responded and found out it was someone visiting Pittsburgh who brought their pet pygmy goat from Forest Hills.
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Once the goat was secured, officers then took the alligator to Humane Animal Rescue.
Police said the alligator was likely a pet that was released into the wild. The alligator is about three feet long and weighs around 10 pounds.
The alligator was not injured and appeared to be healthy, police said. It will stay at the animal rescue until a shelter or refuge is found to relocate the alligator.
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