LONG BRANCH - An unusual find during a police investigation prompted Long Branch police to call in animal control.

Officers were conducting a search warrant at a home when they found a live alligator inside.

The 3.5-foot-long reptile was found inside a storage box, according to animal control officer Michael LoGrasso.

“It’s pretty scary because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” LoGrasso says. “That thing can potentially do some damage.

The alligator is now in the care of Fish and Game experts. Owning an alligator can be illegal in New Jersey, with a fine of up to $25,000.