Body cam footage shows moment missing alligator is captured in New Jersey
Body-camera footage revealed the moments before police caaptured a four-foot-long alligator that went missing in New Jersey at least two weeks ago.
Officers with the Piscataway Police Department on Thursday night at 10pm responded to reports that the alligator had been spotted in the Possumtown neighbourhood.
The video, shared on Piscataway Township’s Facebook page, shows officers chasing the animal down the road in front of a home in Possumtown.
As the animal is surrounded, it rushes onto a nearby lawn, where one officer places his foot on its jaw and secures a leash around the alligator before wildlife officials arrived on the scene.
“Many officers from the afternoon and night squads responded, and the alligator was subdued and restrained by Patrol Officer Ian Paglia until the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection‘s Fish & Wildlife Division took custody of it,” the accompanying statement read.
The alligator was first seen in a brook in Victor Crowell Park in Middlesex County on 23 August, according to local news website NJ.com.
Five days later, Middlesex Police said one of its officers fired at the alligator in an attempt to neutralise it, before announcing the park will remain closed “for a minimum of 72 hours or until such time that the alligator is deemed to no longer be a threat.
According to news reports, the alligator is believed to have been living in waterways near the border of Piscataway and Middlesex borough.
Since gators are not native to New Jersey, officials said it was unclear how the animal had ended up in Middlesex County.
The reptile was relocated to Cape May County Zoo on Friday.
Supervising animal keeper Kevin Wilson told the outlet the alligator will not be put on display.
Instead, it will be part of the zoo’s relocation program during which it will be kept in an isolated area away until the fall, before being taken to Croc Encounters – a Florida-based sanctuary.
Following the recapture, Victor Crowell Park was reopened to visitors; however, swimming and fishing are both still prohibited.