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Alligator found in Decatur resident's front yard

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A reptile was spotted in Decatur late Wednesday night.

Animal control was called out and they were able to cage the animal before it escaped.

The reptile was about three and a half feet long and hiding in a resident’s front yard.

Animal control officers did their best in trying to wrangle the reptile’s scaly body.

Ron Atkins, Macon County Animal Control Administrator, said, “Well we’re not trained to do that actually. That’s not something that animal control in central Illinois deals with.”

The alligator tried to get away before animal control wrapped a tool around its waist and pulled it into a cage.

It’s now in the hands of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which they will investigate just how the animal made its way to Decatur.

Atkins said, “I suspect somebody had this as a pet. And it either became more than they bargained for and they let it loose or it escaped. It probably was turned loose.”

The 3-foot-long reptile is not native to any part of Illinois.

Animal control said they doubt there are any other large alligators in the area and residents should feel safe.

Animal control also dismissed any ideas that this was a baby alligator and that a mother might still be out there.

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For now, the creature resides back in Chicago during the investigation.

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