Albion College in Michigan snapped to it and closed a nature center on its campus after two separate gator sightings in the Kalamazoo River last weekend, Midland Daily News reported.
The Kalamazoo River cuts through the Whitehouse Nature Center’s 140 acres.
According to the college, there were two independent sightings of a 4- to 5-foot alligator. In response, the college posted a warning on Facebook, asking people to stay away from the nature center and be aware around bodies of water.
Lina Kelly, director of Michigan’s Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary, told WILX-TV that alligators aren’t subject to “harsh” Michigan weather conditions and if it’s not caught by October the “poor animal will just die.”
Kelly also said that there were not many alligators in Michigan, even though owning an alligator as a pet is legal.
“If you have an alligator as a pet, there are places that you can take it to rather than just dumping it off into a local lake and pond and making it someone else’s problem,” Kelly said.
The alligator wasn’t the first big reptile spotted in Michigan this year. Officers with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office discovered an alligator in a man’s car after a police chase last month, WZZM-TV reported.
On its Facebook page, the sheriff’s office joked that the alligator was not facing charges despite trying to leave the scene.