An Idaho resident out walking their dog stumbled across one reptile they never expected to see in the state — a 3.5-foot alligator.
The unnamed person was walking Thursday through New Plymouth, located along the state’s border with Oregon, when they “spotted something moving the brush,” the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said.
It wasn’t a squirrel or even a stray cat, but a small gator, the mystified walker found.
The individual picked up the reptile, loaded it into a nearby horse trailer and called Fish and Game, which picked up the animal the following morning.
It is illegal to possess an alligator without proper permits in Idaho. The species is not found in the state, according to Fish and Game.
Alligators are rarely found outside of the southeastern portion or the US, well over 1,500 miles from New Plymouth, Idaho
Officials do not yet know how the reptile ended up in the northwestern state, but are investigating.
“In all likelihood, this alligator got loose from someone, and we are interested in finding the owner,” Regional Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell said in a statement.