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Missouri Fisherman Catches Alligator

A Missouri fisherman caught a small alligator yesterday in Stockton Lake. He took it to a bait shop and the critter ended up at the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield. KSMU's Missy Shelton spoke with Melinda Mancuso, the Public Relations Director for the zoo about the alligator.

Melinda Mancuso says the alligator apparently escaped from its owner or else the owner let it loose when it grew too large for its aquarium. The zoo is keeping the creature for now. It's about 30 inches long and zookeepers estimate it's about 2 years old. They say it's mildly agressive, which is normal for a juvenile reptile. They say it hasn't eaten yet but again, that's normal for a reptile. When someone finds an exotic animal like this, they should call the zoo or Conservation Department to get information on how to approach the animal. Mancuso says people should be careful since these animals can carry diseases.