Wildlife officials capture alligator in Passaic River

Wildlife officials captured this alligator swimming in the Passaic River in Elmwood Park.

Wildlife officials captured this alligator swimming in the Passaic River in Elmwood Park. (7/8/15)

ELMWOOD PARK - State wildlife officials captured an alligator that was found swimming in the Passaic River Wednesday.

The animal was first spotted by a fisherman at the Elmwood Park Marina. The fisherman called police, who did not believe him at first.

"I had to ask again if they said alligator," says Officer Eliseo Nedrano. "I wasn't sure if that was exactly what they said."

Local, county and state officials soon came out to the area to try to find the gator. Wildlife officials say it was difficult to catch and kept slipping away, but eventually they were able to snare it.

Elmwood Park Police Chief Mike Foligno believes the alligator was someone's pet.

"It probably got too big and they couldn't control it anymore so they decided to release it into the wild," he says.

State wildlife officials say they are going to hold onto the animal until they can figure out what to do with it. They are calling different parks and zoos to see if anyone can take it.

The alligator was in good condition and was not hurt during the ordeal.

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