Idaho Department of Fish and Game Officer Brian Marek holds a 3.5-foot alligator that was captured in New Plymouth on Oct. 20. Photo: Idaho Fish and Game

BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho resident was walking their dog Thursday evening when they discovered an alligator moving in the brush, says Idaho Fish and Game (IFGD).

IFGD Southwest Region spokesperson Brian Pearson said the resident put the alligator in a nearby horse trailer until Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer could pick it up on Friday morning. According to the Associated Press, the department has the animal in captivity for now, but Pearson said it will be euthanized or given to a licensed facility unless the owner is located.

Fish and Game is investigating where the alligator may have come from, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Southwest Regional Office at 208-465-8465 during normal business hours, or the Citizens Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999.

“In all likelihood, this alligator got loose from someone, and we are interested in finding the owner,” said Regional Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell.

According to IFGD, without proper permits, it is illegal to possess alligators (or any crocodilian) in Idaho, and it is illegal to release captive crocodilians into the wild.

Alligators are a creature commonly found in the coastal wetlands of the southeastern U.S., but certainly not native to Idaho.

Toby Koekkoek is a Community News Reporter, and a recent resident of Teton Valley. He enjoys writing about our region's community events and the movers and shakers that make up the culture of this unique mountain town. He enjoys deep powder, and deep thoughts, skateboarding, playing racquet sports, riding his bike, and nerding out on music. Toby also coaches freeride skiing for the Jackson Hole Ski Club and runs skateboard camps in the summer.