9-foot alligator found ‘hundreds of miles’ from natural habitat euthanised by Oklahoma authorities

Officials reportedly believe creature was transported illegally

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 11 May 2022 15:33 BST
Oklahoma’s Claremore Lake is not usually home to alligators
Oklahoma’s Claremore Lake is not usually home to alligators (Google Maps)

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Louise Thomas

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An alligator measuring more than nine feet in length has been captured and euthanised in Oklahoma – more than 200 miles from its natural habitat.

Residents of Claremore, a city in northern Oklahoma, reportedly informed officials at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation that an alligator was swimming in Claremore Lake last week, reported The Claremore Progress.

On Friday, authorities finally located the alligator, thereby confirming the sightings of nearby residents. The Independent has approached the department for further comment.

Micah Holmes, a spokesperson for the department, told The Progress that the alligator was too large to relocate and and that it was euthanised for reasons of personnel and public safety.

“The animal was too big to relocate,” Mr Holmes said of the massive 9ft 6inch reptile. “And even if we were able to catch it alive, we weren’t able to safely move it to another location because we don’t know where it came from, and we don’t know if it was habituated to humans or not.”

The alligator was hundreds of miles north of its natural habitat in southeastern Oklahoma, where the creatures are usually found, according to reports.

Both the Red Slough Wildlife Management Area and the Little River National Wildlife Refuge, where authorities say alligators can be found, are more than 230 miles away from Claremore.

Mr Holmes added that most likely scenario was that the alligator was illegally relocated, reported TulsaWorld, with alligators able to survive for long periods in milder conditions.

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