AGAWAM, Massachusetts (WSHM-LD, WGGB) — A small alligator that had been spotted swimming in the Westfield River since last summer has been captured.
"When I saw it, my jaw dropped," said Jeremy White, the alligator catcher. "I didn’t know what to do, so I sat there for a second and thought, 'How am I going to get this gator?'"
For months, there had been reports of an alligator swimming in the Westfield River. After hearing about the most recent sighting Monday, Jeremy White made it his mission to bring the alligator to safety.
"Well, it was alive the prior day, so it had to be alive at least still," said White. "When reptiles are cold, they don’t move very much."
On Tuesday, White set out on his second attempt to search for the gator, coming prepared with tape and rope and kayaking up and down the area for nearly two hours.
"I kept my eye on a spot where it was last, and I saw its snout in the water and I thought, 'No way,'" White said. "I paddled over to it, tried to be very quiet. I noticed its eyes were closed. It was barely hanging on. ... I just reached down (and) grabbed it. It started hissing a bit, so I just taped up its mouth so I was safe, but he didn’t really move much after."
White told Western Mass News he's a reptile lover who just wanted to give the alligator a second chance at life. He even went as far to give it a name.
"Well, they don’t know if it’s a male or a female yet. I was just calling it 'Rambo,' because he survived this long," said White.
The gator was taken into the custody of the Massachusetts Environmental Police, where it will find a new home at a licensed reptile rescue.
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