Alligator on the loose in Clark County

Alligator on the loose in Clark County »Play Video

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Clark County officials are on the second day of a search for a small alligator that’s on the loose in Salmon Creek.

They tried to catch the two-and-a-half foot long alligator Monday, but the warm weather helped the cold-blooded animal escape.

To tempt the animal back into captivity, Clark County Animal Protection and Control officers brought out an alligator trap and set an assortment of meat such as chicken and hamburger inside it.

“We’re hoping by baiting the animal, he probably hasn’t eaten too much,” said Teri Wilson, from Clark County Animal Protection and Control. “So we’re hoping that he’ll be hungry enough so that when we set it in the trap, he’ll smell that and go in.”

Searchers hope the alligator is used to being fed that kind of food which would make it easier to catch.

The alligator’s owners may have set it loose when they did not want it anymore.

“I think somebody was really negligent in letting it out,” said Nick Thomas, a neighborhood resident. “When you have a pet you shouldn’t do things like that.”

Experts said this alligator is not a danger to children or small pets, but just frogs and salamanders.

This is not the first time alligators have been spotted in the area. Two years ago, a slightly bigger alligator was captured in a pond in La Center. In 2008, authorities found a small alligator dumped in Gresham.

Clark County Animal Control said it recovered three alligators last year.

Over the summer, Oregon joined Washington and 18 other states in banning exotic pet ownership including alligators.

If you turn your alligator lose, it suffers a slow death as the fall weather gets colder and colder. Instead, you can drop the alligator off at the Humane Society or contact Animal Control.