NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP — An alligator was found Sunday night abandoned outdoors in the freezing cold.

A Bangs Avenue resident found the 3-foot juvenile alligator inside the tub left in a lot next to his house, Monmouth County SPCA Executive Director Ross Licitra said.

Monmouth County SPCA Animal Control went to the lot and brought the gator back to the Eatontown shelter where it was put in a clean tank.

The alligator will be transferred to the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Licitra said it's only the third alligator brought into the MCSPCA since he started working there in 2015. The most recent was an alligator found in a Rumson basement in 2019 where it was being kept as a pet.

Alligator found in a large container in Neptune Township
Alligator found in a large container in Neptune Township (Monmouth County SPCA)
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Ready for any kind of animal

Despite usually dealing with cats, dogs and birds, Licitra said they can handle an exotic animal like an alligator.

"The Monmouth County SPCA has licensed animal control officers that are able to deal with this animal but only for very short time and on a limited basis until the experts from Division of Fish and Wildlife can step in," he said.

Licitra said it is illegal to keep alligators or caimans because they are considered potentially dangerous exotic species. Whoever abandoned the alligator could face animal cruelty charges.

"If we do find if this was abandoned we would absolutely file animal cruelty charges against a person because that's where the SPCA would step in," Licitra said. "Leaving an alligator or caiman in freezing weather abandoned outside a house is absolutely animal cruelty and the SPCA would charge."

Licitra asked anyone with information about the owner of the alligator to call MCSPCA Humane Law Enforcement Chief Mike Goldfarb at 732-496-9719.

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