A Huge Alligator Was Removed from a Backyard in West Springfield

See you later, alligator.

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alligator springfield


What do police officers do when they’re summoned to a house with an almost 200-pound alligator in the backyard? Call the zoo, of course.

Staff from Springfield’s Forest Park Zoo headed to the West Springfield home with animal control catch poles in tow on Thursday. Together, police and zoo personnel corralled the six-foot-long alligator and hauled it into the back of a truck—but not without some hissing from the reptile along the way.

According to the Springfield Republican, the capture wasn’t all that difficult aside from the sheer size of the animal. Zoo curator John R. Lewis told the Republican the alligator is overweight.

“He was just pretty heavy, real heavy,” said Lewis.

It’s unclear how long the alligator has been living inside a fenced-in area of the Main Street backyard. After it was captured, the reptile was taken to the zoo where it has a larger outdoor enclosure to dwell in.

Springfield Police have transferred the investigation to the Massachusetts Environmental Police. So far, investigators haven’t confirmed who the actual owner of the alligator is. One thing is certain—it is against the law to keep wild animals, such as alligators, at a private residence.

West Springfield Police Sergeant Nolan Ryan told the Boston Globe about rumors alleging the alligator has lived at the home for the past 26 years. The reptile’s residency history in Springfield has not yet been confirmed, but Police Capt. Michael Banas suspects it didn’t arrive to town recently.

“That’s not a baby alligator, that’s a full-grown alligator,” Banas told the Republican. “He has been there for a while.”

You can read the full story and see a video of the capture here.

Have you noticed funky happenings lately? Tell me about them: mbilis@bostonmagazine.com@madelinebilis.