KITTY HAWK, N.C. –An alligator was spotted and caught in Kitty Hawk Monday morning, and then it was released right where it was found, Kitty Hawk police confirmed.
Police were originally told that an alligator was spotted in a canal between Pineway Drive and Ivy Lane, reported WTKR. The Coastal NC Alligator research team said they were at Duck Donuts when they heard the call and headed over to the canal.
Though the alligator was reported to be 15-feet long, the Coastal NC Alligator research team said he is about 9.5 feet long.
The team said they tagged the adult male and let him go. The state of North Carolina allows the team to capture the alligators, but not relocate them.
Police warned residents in the Kitty Hawk area to keep an eye on their kids and pets when in the yard.
The team is researching in Dare and Hyde Counties as part of a long-term study. A lot of the alligators they have captured, documented, and released have been found in the aptly-named Alligator River National Wildife Refuge.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) adopted a rule earlier this year to allow limited take of American alligators as prescribed by the North Carolina Alligator Management Plan. Hunting for American alligators will initially be limited to population reduction hunts at the request of cities, towns, and villages in Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Hyde, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, and Pender.
Any municipality requesting a population reduction hunt will work with Commission staff to assess alligator numbers, define areas of public safety concern, and identify those areas where alligator take could be safely conducted by hunters.