Alligator on the South Side, goat on Baum Blvd.: busy day for animal control |

Alligator on the South Side, goat on Baum Blvd.: busy day for animal control

Dave Williams
This alligator was captured on the South Side of Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.
This alligator was captured on the South Side of Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.

A family fishing along the banks of the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon encountered something else: an alligator.

The family spotted the alligator sunning itself on a riverside trail around 1:15 p.m., according to Pittsburgh Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri.

The gator, about 3 feet long and weighing about 10 pounds, was captured in Southside Riverfront Park — but it wasn’t that easy.

An officer from the Fish and Boat Commission responded as well as Pittsburgh animal control officers and police.

Togneri reported that the alligator tried to hide under a fallen tree, so the officers couldn’t snag it with catch poles and other tools.

So the officers dug the soil away to create an opening and, after about an hour, “captured the alligator with their hands.”

They tied the alligater’s mouth closed with a nylon strip and got it into a crate.

Just then, a goat call

Togneri said the Pittsburgh animal control officers “prepared to take the alligator to Human Animal Rescue in the East End, but their trip was delayed when they received a report of a goat on Baum Boulevard.”

Two officers responded and found an out-of-town visitor who had brought a pet pygmy goat from Forest Hills to Pittsburgh. The goat was secured and the officers went to Humane Animal Rescue.

As far as the alligator, Togneri said animal control officers Karen Jones and Dina Serpa said the alligator was likely a pet that someone released into the wild.

“The alligator was slightly overweight, which leads the officers to suspect that the alligator was eating well by the banks of the Monongahela.”

It wasn’t hurt and appeared healthy. Animal rescue will care for it until it can be relocated to a shelter or refuge.

Togneri noted that alligators aren’t common to Pittsburgh. They require a warm climate and would not survive a Pittsburgh winter.

Dave Williams is a Tribune-Review night local news editor. You can contact Dave at 724-226-4667 or [email protected].

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