CONCORD — Yes, that was an alligator lingering around Odell School Road on Monday afternoon.
An employee of the Shiloh United Methodist Church daycare noticed the alligator ducking in and out of a drainage ditch off the road. The employee called Cabarrus County Animal Control around 1:40 p.m., and a deputy was dispatched to the area.
North Carolina Wildlife services was also called to the scene at 4145 Odell School Road to aid in securing the alligator. The wildlife officer was able to secure the reptile with a catch pole and then tape its mouth shut.
It was then loaded into a transport vehicle to head straight for a biologist. The alligator is expected to be released into a natural habitat later.
Alligators are not native to the Piedmont area, but Lt. James Torelli explained how one could end up so far from home.
“People go buy these exotic animal and reptiles at shows or conferences,” he said. “They bring the animals home and they get too big, they get out of hand, and people cut them loose.”
Alligators are common in the more coastal regions of the state and are considered a threatened species in the state and federally.
Torelli said people can check with the North Carolina Wildlife services to see what animals need permits and which are legal to purchase in the state.