PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (WABC) — An alligator that caused a New Jersey park to close last week has been captured in a neighboring area.

A concerned citizen called the police Thursday night to report that they spotted an alligator in the roadway near Second Avenue in Piscataway.

When authorities responded, Piscataway Patrol Officer Ian Paglia put a leash around the 4-foot-long gator’s neck. Officers drove it to Piscataway Police Headquarters in a car and secured it in a cell block.

They had to wait for NJ Fish and Wildlife because Edison Animal Control was not equipped to handle an alligator.

The Middlesex Borough Police Department first received a report of a small alligator seen at Victor Crowell Park last Wednesday afternoon.

The alligator had been spotted in Lake Creigton, commonly known as the Duck Pond, and Ambrose Brook in Victor Crowell Park.

A couple of days later, a witness said they saw the alligator attack a duck and pull it under the water.

The next day, officers spotted the gator and attempted to neutralize it by discharging their firearm at a close proximity.

The alligator immediately submerged into the water.

“The presence of this alligator in our waterways posed a threat to the public safety of our community, which is our paramount mission as a police department. With the professional assistance of the Piscataway Police Department and the NJ Fish and Wildlife Conservation Police, with whom we have partnered throughout this wildlife investigation, the reptile was relocated to the Cape May County Zoo,” said Chief Matthew P. Geist, Piscataway Police Department.

Alligators are not native to New Jersey, so it is not clear how the animal got loose.

Although possession of alligators is illegal in New Jersey, they are sometimes purchased out of state. Owners often release the reptiles in local water bodies when they can no longer care for them.

ALSO READ | Experts provide tips on fighting spotted lanternflies in NYC this fall


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.

Previous articleDisney drops part of its lawsuit against DeSantis to focus on free speech claims
Next articleFlamingos spotted as far north as Ohio after being blown off course by Idalia | US news