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A 6-foot-long alligator was removed from a Massachusetts backyard

Alligator removed from West Springfield backyard

A 6-foot-long alligator was removed from the backyard of a home in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on Thursday.

A tip from a neighbor alerted police to the creature's presence. With the help of the Forest Park Zoo, the police trapped the animal with two catch poles from animal control.

The resident had been keeping the alligator in a fenced-off area in their backyard. It is illegal to own a crocodile or alligator in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Environmental Police are now handling the investigation. It is unknown if charges will be brought. Police Capt. Michael Banas told  CBS that over his 29-year career, he's never seen anything like this, and for good reason. The alligator's American habitat extends from North Carolina to Texas. The animals are native only to China and the U.S.

John Lewis of the Forest Park Zoo told WWLP News that the reptile had probably been at the home for quite some time.

The alligator was loaded onto the back of a pickup truck and taken to the Forest Park Zoo for safe keeping until they figure out a permanent solution. 

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