Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 21, 2012

'Extremely docile' gator caught in N.H. pond


CNHI

— PLAISTOW, N.H..— Finding an alligator in New England is rare. But locating one that is also “insanely docile” has led experts to believe it must have been someone’s pet that escaped or was placed in the wild.

It was captured in a pond last weekend and has immediately begun making friends.

"He's doing great," said Brad Ashley, a specialist with New England Reptile Distributors. "This guy is surprisingly tame," he said, "insanely docile."

Ashley said he could rub the side of its mouth without concern about being bitten.

Cold winter temperatures and lack of adequate food would have led to a shortened life for the reptile had it not been caught, Ashley said. "This is definitely not something you encounter in New England," he said.

He said he suspects the alligator had a caring owner. "He could have been penned outside and could have got loose. He is nice and healthy and extremely used to people."

The alligator is estimated to be 2 feet long and between 1 to 3 years old. The shop will hang onto the alligator and possibly try to find a new home for it, Ashley said.

It was the second time in a month an alligator had been captured at Stevens Pond in Manchester.

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Details for this story were provided by The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.