CLEVELAND -- 'Jenni',the alligator found in the Big Creek near Jennings and Harvard roads, has found a new home at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
The 25-inch-long alligator will be in routine quarantine for 30 days at the Zoo's Center for Zoological Medicine to assess its condition.
When it clears the quarantine period, it will be transferred to the Zoo's Conservation Education Division, where it will be part of the Zoo's Conservation Education programs including outreach.
On Thursday, a surveyor saw the reptile in Big Creek near a sewer outfall and alerted Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District crews who were conducting maintenance on the agency's Jennings Road Pump Station; the outfall is located behind the pump station.
Sewer District crews were able to catch the alligator and place it in a secure container with warm water. The Ohio Department of Agriculture, who oversees regulatory compliance of exotic pets, like alligators, was notified.
To ensure its safety, the Sewer District crews took the alligator to the Sewer District's EMSC facility located at 4747 East 49th Street in Cuyahoga Heights.
Sewer District laboratory staff has been caring for the animal from Thursday until late Tuesday morning.
Given that deadline for registering exotic animals with the Ohio Department of Agriculture was on Monday, November 5, 2012, there is speculation that the animal may have been released to avoid the costs of the new regulations.
However, it has not been confirmed.
As a precaution, though, Sewer District officials would like strongly urge owners of exotic pets not to release any type of reptile into local waterbodies or in sewers.