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Indiana Conservation Officers responded Monday evening to information from a landowner in northern Hancock County claiming to have witnessed a reptile resembling an alligator in Brandywine Creek. 


 
Indiana Conservation Officer Ted Stine responded to the area and found tracks in the mud that were consistent with an alligator. 

Conservation Officers were able to locate and capture the reptile using spot lights and large dip nets. 

Once it was captured, it was determined to be a three foot long crocodile.  The crocodile is currently being housed at a secure facility until a suitable home can be located.
 
Crocodiles and alligators are not native to Indiana, and although officers occasionally find one in our waters, they are not naturally occurring.

It is legal to possess a crocodilian up to five feet long in Indiana without a state permit, however some species may require a federal permit.
 
 “Crocodilians are generally purchased by people who are interested in caring for an exotic and exciting pet, but they soon realize that proper care is difficult and expensive.” said Capt. Bill Browne. 

“The focus now will be to determine who may have released it, and make sure they do not have any other wild animals that might be released,” noted Browne.
 
If you have any information about where this crocodile may have come from, please contact our 1-800-TIP-IDNR call line.  Callers can remain anonymous.