Beagle finds alligator in Desert Hot Springs backyard


His owner, Daisy Maldonado, says on occasion he's been known to alert them to a spider crawling about, but this time, the intruder was an alligator, which is not common in the desert.

Animal Control Officer James Huffman got called out. He says at first he thought he'd be removing somebody's lost pet iguana. Instead, he found the 3-foot-long juvenile American alligator stuck between two fences.

"I wasn't sure what to expect when I got there. When I got up close to it, it was sure darn an alligator," he said.

Huffman carefully removed the gator using a dog leash and transported it to the Riverside County Animal Shelter in Thousand Palms. The reptile is kept secluded and away from the other animals - just in case.

"He's not able to inflict life-threatening injuries or anything like that, but he could definitely injure your hand or a finger," Huffman said.

By the time the alligator is full grown, it could weigh more than 500 pounds. There's no word on how the gator got there.

No one has come forward to claim it, but it's unlikely anyone will come forward because pet alligators are illegal in California. The alligator will likely end up living out the next 30 to 50 years at a sanctuary in Kentucky.

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