Alligator Discovered Wandering the Streets of Idaho

by Craig Garrett
American alligator crossing the road - stock photo

A group of biologists in Idaho recently came into possession of a large alligator that was discovered by some locals out walking their dog. An as-yet unidentified party witnessed a 3 1/2 foot alligator moving through some bushes next to a street in the New Plymouth area on October 20th. The reptile was rounded up and put in a horse trailer, USA Today reports.

On October 21st, biologists from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game collected the alligator. The alligator is currently being held at a Fish and Game facility. Alligators are typically found in warm, humid climates and would not be able to survive Idaho’s colder temperatures for very long. It is possible that somebody was keeping the alligator as a pet before it escaped.

Matt O’Connell is a Regional Conservation Officer for Idaho Fish and Game. He weighed in on the incident in a news release. “In all likelihood, this alligator got loose from someone, and we are interested in finding the owner,” O’Connell explained. It is against the law to own an alligator (or any crocodilian) without the right permits in Idaho. Releasing captive crocodilians into the wild is also illegal.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) shared on social media that they are searching for information regarding a recent poaching incident. IDFG is asking anyone with helpful information to telephone the Southwest Regional Office at 208-465-8465, or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999.

There’s one spot in Idaho to see alligators (other than the zoo)

Idaho is perhaps the last place you would expect to find alligators. However, don’t be too surprised if you come across one next time you’re in Buhl. Several of these creatures have taken up residence in one of Buhl’s natural hot springs. You may find this hard to believe, but it is indeed true, according to Only In Your State.

The alligators at Miracle Hot Springs were placed there many years ago. This was when the owners realized that they would be happy in the warm water which emulates their natural habitat. These reptiles act as a bizarre, but endearing attraction for visitors. The climate in this area of the Hagerman Valley is usually warm, sometimes resembling a semi-tropical environment. This makes it less surprising that there are alligators present in Idaho. According to unsubstantiated rumors, an alligator once escaped the enclosure and reached the Snake River.

American alligators are found in the southeastern United States, stretching from Florida to Texas. They’re also in parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Mexico. Louisiana boasts the largest population of the reptiles. Southern Florida is notable for being the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles live side by side. There is also a small population of this species in Tamaulipas, Mexico.