It was a startling sight on Saturday in a community just 35 miles from Manhattan. The American alligator is native to the South and it is against New York law to own one, said Ray Gross, chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Green with yellowish stripes and roughly 2 feet long, the animal appeared to be about 3 years old, Gross said.
County police helped capture the alligator, which "wasn't too happy to see us," said Officer Vinny O'Shaughnessy.
"We were incredulous at first, but then we knew that we had to do something about it," he said.
The SPCA is looking for whoever may have released the alligator. That person could face animal cruelty charges, Gross said.
He said the animal had probably been raised in captivity and would be unable to fend for itself in the wild.