WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — An alligator was safely rescued from the Westfield River Tuesday morning, after reports of it being seen in the water since this past summer.
The West Springfield Animal Control says the alligator was captured Tuesday by a Good Samaritan and was taken into the custody of the Massachusetts Environmental Police. Animal Control noted that he appeared to be in good condition and will be taken to a properly licensed reptile rescue.
On Monday, a West Springfield resident sent footage of an alligator in the Westfield River to NEWS10’s sister station in Springfield. The video was taken while the man was fishing in the Westfield River near the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds on Monday. He said the alligator was stationary for some time, and then swam off.
Jeremy White of Agawam saw this Report-it video on our website Tuesday morning of the alligator swimming in the Westfield River near the Big E fairgrounds. After seeing it, he wanted to try and save it. So he drove to the river and got in his kayak. He asked his girlfriend if she wanted to go with him but she said no.
After searching the river for a while, he finally spotted it. He brought it into his boat and that’s when he called the environmental police. “I caught it and I had to carry my boat back to my car with the gator, and then I called them after I got back to the car,” White said. “Some people spotted me carrying an alligator and the boat and they were like, ‘Is that the alligator?’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, that’s the alligator,'” said White.
White said the alligator was on the smaller side, maybe about three feet long. He said he is a big Steve Irwin fan and is very fascinated by all kinds of wildlife.
According to the nonprofit organization West Springfield Environmental Committee, there has been several reports of an alligator in the area of the Westfield River near the Morgan Sullivan Bridge since August. It was last reported to the West Springfield Animal Control in late September, early October. Officials believe the alligator could have been a pet that was released.