Local/State

One NJ gator caught, one more to go?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009
The gators appearance had prompted biologists from the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife to bait more traps and drop them in the pond in hopes of catching the elusive gator.

Wildlife officials trapped a 4-foot, 25-pound alligator in Trenton's Stacy Pond late Tuesday night. But is that the only reptile in the water?

There is a strong belief that another, bigger gator is still in the pond.

The sightings started more than two weeks ago. Officials say a flurry of onlookers kept the gator away from the trap baited with deer and chicken meat.

Finally, on Tuesday night, the 4-foot gator was finally caged.

When they heard it had been caught, neighbors flocked to get a look. However, almost to a person, they all said they believe a bigger gator is still on the loose.

"It's a baby. There's still a big one in there, because we saw a bigger one than that," said Eddie Gonzalez.

"The one that we saw was much bigger than that. That's just a pet. I mean, it's small compared to the one in the newspaper and on the news," said Jonnie May Pace.

Wildlife officials say there may be another alligator out there, so they'll continue baiting the traps. In the meantime, they'll transport the gator they captured Tuesday night and hopefully find him a new home.

"I will make calls to all the zoos in New Jersey that have alligators already, that have the proper permits to care for these animals. I will also call out-of-state zoos and exhibitors to see if they can take him as well," said Linda DiPiano of NJ Fish and Wildlife.

The pond remains off-limits. Officials want to keep people away so they can search for the other gator that they strongly believe is out there.

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