UPDATE: Gregg Bortz, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources recently offered some clarification to their involvement in the ongoing situation regarding the alligator.
“DNR is not involved in the capture attempt but has been in contact with local authorities, who are equipped to handle this as an animal control issue,” Bortz said in a statement.
We will continue to provide any additional information that becomes available on this story.
LEONARDTOWN, Md. — An alligator has been reportedly seen in St. Mary’s County that is now in the process of being trapped according to county officials.
Stephen Walker, Director of the Department of Emergency Services for St. Mary’s County confirmed to TheBayNet.com that the county is now actively trying to catch an alligator located in a small body of water in the county.
“There’s a wildlife agent in the county that has taken it on, we are just now starting to support,” Walker said. The Southern Maryland Regional Manager from the Department of Natural Resources has been helping to catch the animal.
Walker said that a resident of the county has been in contact with them recently, claiming to have credible evidence of the alligator. The animal has allegedly been living there for at least a year, but Walker said that the claims had been previously described as unfounded. Now, that resident is claiming to have video evidence of the alligator living. No description as to the size has been given at this time.
The plan is to catch the gator and hopefully relocate the animal to Florida, an area that it is naturally occurring in.
Walker would not confirm where the gator is presumed to be located out of safety for the general population. Nearby homeowners are expected to receive notice of the process as it develops.
“I’m just concerned that you have people who might go out and try to capture it or kill it,” Walker said. “I would just ask people [not get involved].”
Some may remember the 8-foot alligator that was recently captured and killed in the Chesapeake Ranch Estates over the summer, in Calvert County.
An expert at the time had weighed in, explaining how it might be possible for an alligator to survive outside of its naturally occurring area for so long in Maryland. It is unclear if there is an alligator in St. Mary’s County, or how long it may have been living here if found, however experts have confirmed it would be possible.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: The cover photograph used for the story is a stock image.