Man walking his dog finds alligator roaming in rural Idaho

Photo courtesy Idaho Fish and Game

A man who was out walking his dog on a recent evening in rural Idaho stumbled upon a creature that was a long way from home.

According to Idaho Fish and Game, the man was walking his dog on a road south of New Plymouth, a small town about 45 minutes northwest of Boise, around 8:30 p.m. Oct. 21 when he heard something rustling in the bushes. It was a 3.5-foot long alligator.

The man was able to load the alligator into a nearby horse trailer and called Fish and Game. Wildlife officials picked up the reptile the next morning and brought it to a Fish and Game facility.

Alligators typically live in freshwater rivers from North Carolina to the Rio Grande in Texas, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

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It’s illegal to own or possess an alligator — or any "crocodilian" — in Idaho unless you have proper permits, wildlife officials said.


An alligator is seen at the Gator Park in the Florida Everglades May 17, 2006 in Miami-Dade County. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The alligator was found about two and a half hours from Miracle Hot Springs, a natural hot springs campground that imported alligators decades ago as an attraction for visitors. The alligators live in an enclosure at the campground.

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"In all likelihood, this alligator got loose from someone, and we are interested in finding the owner," Regional Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell said in a news release.