• Kyodo

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A 1-meter-long Mississippi alligator was captured by police in the city of Saitama after a resident called to report a large lizard in his yard, police said Monday.

Police said they received a call from a 53-year-old resident of Minami Ward at around 8:15 p.m. Sunday and found that the creature was in fact an alligator. Four officers used a net to capture the reptile. No one was hurt in the incident.

An investigation determined that a man living nearby had kept the alligator as a pet. He was being questioned in connection with a possible violation of a local ordinance against cruelty to animals, police said.

According to police, the alligator was caught after a net was slipped over it and the animal was grabbed by the throat.

The man who first notified police said he heard something move on the gravel in his yard but never thought it might be an alligator.

Experts said Mississippi alligators can grow to a length of more than 5 meters. While the species is considered relatively docile, it can attack when cornered, according to staff at the Atagawa Tropical & Alligator Garden in Higashi-Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

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