Alligator search underway in St. Mary’s County, officials say

St. Mary’s County officials and a wildlife expert say they’re searching for an alligator that was reported in the area recently.

About a week and a half ago, officials in St. Mary’s County got a report of an eight-foot alligator roaming around. 

READ MORE: Maryland man captures, kills 7-foot alligator in Chesapeake Bay

According to county officials, they initially dismissed an alligator sighting in the area last year due to a lack of evidence.

A wildlife specialist, however, took an interest in the case, and recorded what they believe is credible video that could be showing an alligator.

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It’s not legal to own an alligator here, but officials believe it may have been someone’s pet and they released it back into the wild.

"The most important thing is that I don’t feel there’s a danger to the public. I think it’s fairly safe where it is. We’re not getting reports of pets missing or anything of that nature," said Steve Walker, Director of St. Mary’s County Emergency Services Department.

The county is working with a local wildlife group to capture the animal and take it to Florida.

"We think we’ve got a pretty good crew who’s doing it. There’s a local wildlife expert who is actually pursuing this and we are offering assistance to that person. He’s getting all the permitting for transporting the animal. We did provide some materials for him to build a trap," Walker said. 

 St. Mary’s County officials say they have never had a report of an alligator sighting in the area before so this is a first.