Illegally Released Alligator Makes A Rare Appearance In Kentucky

By Sherah Janay Ndjongo

August 11, 2023

Alligator - Smiley
Photo: Getty Images

Alligators do not live natively in Kentucky, but one was caught in Murray earlier this week.

The wild reptile was seen wandering close to Coles Campground Road. Multiple reports were made to The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. As typical of such sightings, the alligator was determined to be in the wrong part of the country due to illegal release.

Professional photographer Shawna Munger caught wind of the new visitor's presence through Facebook posts about it, and she decided to document its actions while it was in town.

Munger explained to local news outlets:

"For me, I just wanted pictures of it. I wanted to capture it. That's what I do, so the photographer in me just kind of took over, even though I am not a nature photographer. It just took over. I wanted to show it to my kids when they got older. I wanted to show my family in Tennessee. I wanted to show them this thing was here."

In order to remain in line with and carry out safety protocols, trained employees of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife made the decision to capture the animal and subsequently euthanize it.

Certain exotic animals are illegal to own, yet alone release into the wild in Kentucky. Wildlife rehabilitation resources are available for more information regarding these laws

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