CALVERTON - Wildlife experts are on the hunt for another alligator on Long Island.
A 4-foot long alligator has been reported lurking in the waters and brush of the Peconic River. Authorities believe the reptile was a pet that got too big and was released into the wild.
Bait has been set near the Connecticut Avenue Boat launch in Calverton to keep the gator in the area so he can be caught. Police have shut down the area until the alligator is captured.
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“We want him to know that this is his food source so hopefully he'll come up and get more comfortable and we'll be able to capture him alive,” says Department of Environmental Conservation police officer Dan Damrath.
Due to the amount of recent rainfall and a lower river temperature, DEC police believe the alligator has gone dormant and is hiding close to the woods near the water.
“Once it goes below 70 they stop eating,” says Damrath. “Once it goes below 55, they go dormant. Their body slows down everything.”
Police caught four other alligators in the same area back in April. Once caught, this new gator will be given to a zoo.
Manorvill resident Steve Hickey says he’s seen the beast, but Hickey believes the alligator isn’t as big a deal as some other denizens of the deep.
“[The alligator’s] nothing,” says Hickey. “There are snapping turtles in there the size of my tire and the head the size of mine. Just imagine that … that’s twice as bad as the gator.”