FORT LEE - Fort Lee police were called for an unusual rescue this morning when a man discovered a three-foot alligator at a Bergen County park.

The man told police he initially thought the animal was fake, until it snapped back when he tried to pick it up. The alligator was taken to a pet store to be taken care of before being handed over to animal control officers. It will then be relocated by state fish and wildlife officers.

There have been at least four reports of alligators and crocodiles found in New Jersey this year. Animal control officials say the reptiles are often bought as pets from breeders in Pennsylvania, despite being illegal to own in New Jersey, and dumped when they become too unwieldy.