North Carolina researchers catch 9.5-foot alligator in Kitty Hawk canal

Alligator researchers caught and released a 9.5-foot alligator in North Carolina Monday.

The gator, which was found swimming in a canal in Kitty Hawk, was captured by researchers with Coastal NC Alligator Research group. They announced the news on Facebook.

The researchers were at a nearby doughnut shop when they heard a local radio station report that the gator had been spotted. They traveled to the location, where they later captured, tagged and measured it.

“We cannot transport or relocate any alligators. Our permits are for research activities only,” the researchers wrote, explaining why the gator was not removed from the canal.

“For this part of the state, anything over 10 feet is a really big alligator,” Chris Turner, a biologist for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, told The Virginian Pilot.

The Kitty Hawk Police Department warned residents to be on the lookout for the gator, especially those with small children and pets, according to WTVR-TV. Locals should also check swimming pools, the police department added.

The Coastal NC Alligator Research was not immediately available for additional comment when contacted by Fox News on Tuesday.