7-foot alligator found in Parkland soccer field

A 7-foot alligator was found roaming a soccer field near a school in Parkland on Friday morning.

A Parks and Recreation employee discovered the alligator on the soccer field at Pine Trails Park near Park Trails Elementary School, 10700 Trails End, around 7:30 a.m. Friday.

“This was truly a nuisance alligator,” said Sgt. Joe Capua, Broward Sheriff’s Office marine and dive unit supervisor. “He was in a place where he could not retreat easily [back to nature].”

Capua stood over the gator and pressed its head down while a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Research Institute officer taped its mouth shut.

Capua received training on how to handle an alligator from the wildlife commission about three years ago, but this was the first time he ever needed to come in contact with one.

“I usually get calls and I instruct deputies how to scare the alligator back into a canal,” he said.

When he arrived at the soccer field Friday, Capua said the wildlife commission officer had already “tired out” the alligator and a sheriff’s deputy had lassoed its tail.

Together, they stretched out the reptile to immobilize it, he said.

A state-licensed trapper took custody of the alligator, the sheriff’s office said; it would either be taken elsewhere or euthanized.

“There’s a reason it came here,” Capua said. “It would just find his way back.”

rpiccardo@tribpub.com, 954-356-4544 or Twitter: @rebecapiccardo.

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-parkland-7-foot-alligator-20151120-story.html

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