A feisty, 4-foot alligator spotted more than once around a New Jersey town that continued to elude authorities for more than a week and forced a park to close, was finally captured by police Thursday night.
“Gator behind bars! Piscataway Cops Catch Cold-Blooded Reptile!” the Piscataway Township Police Department wrote in a Facebook post along with body camera footage of the crafty gator’s final moments before it was captured.
The gator had previously escaped authorities twice after being spotted multiple times in Lake Creighton, commonly known as the Duck Pond, and the Ambrose Brook, starting Aug. 23.
Alligators aren’t native to New Jersey and officials don’t know where it came from.
A bystander reportedly claimed seeing a duck getting attacked and pulled under by the alligator, but a search failed to locate either the reptile or the waterfowl’s carcass.
Piscataway Patrol Officer Ian Paglia subdued and restrained the alligator after a resident reported seeing it walking down a street in the Possumtown neighborhood around 10 p.m. Thursday, the department said.
The body camera footage shows several officers chasing the gator up and down the street and into a grassy area where an officer was able to hold down the reptile with his foot and tie an improvised leash around its neck – all under the glare of flashing police lights.
The alligator is now in the custody of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Fish & Wildlife Division and is expected to go to a local zoo or sanctuary.
Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.