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East Lyme investigating report of an alligator in a local lake

EAST LYME -- It’s not every day somebody reports an alligator sighting in Connecticut, but that was the case Tuesday morning at a lake in East Lyme.

It seemed like a typical hot, sunny, summer day at Powers Lake, until animal control showed up.

“Immediately I got the dog because it says keep them on leashes,” said Lisa Schuba of Durango, CO. “I was really worried. He goes we’re not here for that dog. We’re here to look for an alligator. We were like no way! what are you talking about!”

Animal control said the gator was reported to be approximately a foot long. Then, she says, a man got out of a black Jeep.

“He spoke to us and said ‘yeah, I was the one who spotted it,’” Schuba added.

She asked the man if he was sure that it wasn’t an eel.

“He was so funny,” she said, laughing. “He is from the south. He said ‘no I used to hunt gators. I know a gator when I see one.’”

Environmental Conservation police interviewed the witness and could not confirm the presence of an alligator.

“I didn’t realize this was the place where they actually spotted it,” said Fern Tremblay, of East Haddam. “It would’ve been nice to see it out there (in the lake).”

He and his wife took the alleged sighting in stride.

“Years ago, we used to sell baby alligators at Woolworths,” said Priscilla Tremblay. “This was a long time ago. Like 50 years ago.”

An ER nurse, who likely is not fazed by much, spent quite some time floating on the lake, near the area where the sighting took place.

I grew up watching the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin,” said Chelsea Mangs of Old Lyme. “He’s one of my heroes. So, I figured now is my chance. You don’t always see an alligator in East Lyme.”

As you might imagine, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection confirms that it is illegal to have an alligator as a pet in Connecticut.

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