George Rizer for The Boston Globe
Why did the alligator cross the road?
Animal control officers in Brockton are trying to answer that riddle after a firefighter on his way to work found a 3-foot alligator, wearing a spiked collar and dragging a broken leash, lumbering across Clifton Avenue near Copeland Street Sunday morning.
“It’s not a call we deal with too often, thankfully,” Brockton animal control supervisor Tom DeChellis said. “It seems friendly, as far as alligators go.”
Brockton firefighter Scott Hurst said he was driving to work around 7 a.m. in the residential area when he saw the green reptile in the road near South Junior High School.
Hurst jumped out of his truck, grabbed the animal, tied it down with a bungee cord and called police, he said.
“I’ve never come across anything like that before,” Hurst said. “There’s a lot of kids in the neighborhood. I didn’t want anyone losing a finger.”
A license is required in Massachusetts to keep exotic pets such as alligators, DeChellis said. It appears the alligator was tied up in someone’s backyard and escaped, he said.
DeChellis said he doesn’t expect the owner to come forward, especially if the alligator was being kept illegally.
Animal control officers have encountered alligators in Brockton before, DeChellis said. The reptiles have occasionally been left behind in aquariums when the residents moved, and at least one was found dumped in a pond at D. W. Field Park in the past, he said.
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