It was “a little upset,” but rescuers say a 3-foot-long alligator is safe after it was pulled from Lehigh River in Pennsylvania.
The reptile rescue was captured on video and shared to Facebook by Dana Ortiz, who said she was with Christina’s Reptile & Animal Sanctuary on Sunday, Dec. 5.
In the video, which was then shared by the exotic animal nonprofit, a few people are seen at the river trying to pull the alligator as it is out of view from the camera.
“There he is,” one person said. “There he is.”
“Oh, he’s a little guy,” she continued as another woman brought the gator into view. “She got ‘em, she got ‘em ... aww, poor baby.”
The alligator, with its mouth opened wide enough to impress any dentist, was then placed into a red bag.
“Yeah, he’s a little upset,” someone said.
Following the rescue, Christina Obrecht, owner of Christina’s Reptile and Animal Sanctuary, spoke to WFMZ. She said the gator, who was spotted by two fishermen, had an injured claw.
“He was stuck down there fairly deep, and I couldn’t reach him,” she told the TV station. “He was in too deep, and I can’t swim, so I didn’t want to wait, and so I put a stick behind his back to get him just to come up a little bit, and I was able to catch him pretty easily.”
The alligator, which is believed to be a pet released into the wild, is being sent to an exotic animal facility for treatment, WFMZ reported.
In Pennsylvania, possession of alligators and other non-native reptile species is not regulated by the state’s Fish and Boat Commission.
“So long as these animals are not released into the wild, there are no state regulations regarding their ownership,” the state department says. “Likewise, there is no state permit required to possess these animals. However, there may be local municipal ordinances, which regulate the ownership of ‘dangerous animals’ and you should check with your local government before purchasing such an animal.”