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Agawam man captures elusive Westfield River alligator

"It's not wild. It didn't drive up from Florida. But somebody had it as a pet and dumped it here."

A Good Samaritan captured a young alligator that had been spotted since the summer in the Westfield River near West Springfield, and turned it over to Massachusetts Environmental Police on Tuesday, according to a West Springfield Animal Control Facebook post.

The alligator was in good condition and will be turned over to a reptile rescue, according to the statement.

On Monday, a West Springfield resident sent a video of the young reptile swimming in the river near the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds to 22News.

That video inspired the Good Samaritan, better known as Jeremy White of Agawam according to the TV station, to try and save the animal by capturing it and turning it over to authorities.

Michael Ralbovsky, a consultant for the Massachusetts Environmental Police, told Western Mass News back in August that the alligator was likely someone’s pet.

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“It’s not wild. It didn’t drive up from Florida. But somebody had it as a pet and dumped it here,” Ralbovsky told the station.

Kevin McCurley, the owner of New England Reptile Distributors and Zoo Creatures, told the station that the reptile would have a tough time surviving the winter outdoors in New England.

“If he goes underwater, and the surface freezes over and he can’t breathe, he will suffocate. Or if he located under a bank that freezes they cannot tolerate being frozen,” McCurley told Western Mass News.

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