ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - Authorities on Tuesday shot and killed a 4-foot long alligator in Fremont, saying the animal could pose a threat to the public and other animals in the area if left alone.
Steve Gonzalez with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the area where the alligator was found was hard to access. Aerial footage from SkyFox captured wildlife officials carrying a crate out of Alameda Creek just after noon on Tuesday.
Gonzalez said the alligator was likely kept as a pet and released into the creek when it became too big to take care of. Fish and Wildlife officials first heard reports of the alligator on Monday.
The animal was first reported on Monday, Fremont police Animal Services and state wildlife officials searched the creek during the remaining daylight hours, but couldn't find it, police said. The search of the waterway resumed Tuesday with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office taking over.
"It could be provoked if it sees someone walking. And it is not only humans in dianger but there's a chance it could be in danger," said Ragini Momi who lives nearby.
Neighbors were hoping officers would simply catch and relocate the alligator. "I think it is pretty inhumane. It's only four feet and coild have been relocated somewhere else," said neighbor Sam Cuellar.
"It is very difficult to tranquilize it from a distance. They're spooked around people. If you tried to get close you could lose it and we didn't want to take that chance," said Capt. Sheree Christensen of California Fish & Wildlife.
Fremont police said shortly after 11:30 a.m. today that the alligator had been located and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was handling it.