published on August 17, 2016 - 8:54 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

(AP) — Officials say a young alligator that was likely kept as a pet and released into a California creek after it got too big has been shot and killed.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Steve Gonzalez said a state wildlife officer killed the 3-foot long alligator Tuesday after being unable to get close to the animal to get it out of a popular area for hikers and children in Fremont.

Gonzalez says wildlife officers decided to shoot the animal to ensure public safety.

Police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques says someone spotted the gator Monday and called authorities but police and fish and wildlife officers couldn’t locate the animal.

Officials returned Tuesday and found it sunbathing on a rock.

Gonzalez says it’s illegal to have alligators as pets in California.

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