DEC confirms alligator sighting in Peconic River

State environmental official Dan Damrath searches for an

State environmental official Dan Damrath searches for an alligator spotted near the Connecticut Avenue boat ramp along the Peconic River in Calverton. (June 14, 2013) (Credit: John Roca)

State environmental officials are on the lookout for an alligator spotted near the Connecticut Avenue boat ramp along the Peconic River in Calverton.

"We got the first report Sunday night. It was confirmed, seen by our officers, Wednesday," Aphrodite Montalvo, a spokeswoman for the Long Island office of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said Friday.

The sighting is in the same area where DEC officials captured four young alligators in April, she said.

Montalvo said the latest alligator, about 3 to 4 feet long, had avoided capture. DEC enforcement agents have been putting bait in the area to keep it from going downstream, she said.

"We are urging users of the river to be cautious, and if they spot it they should call us at 631-444-0250," she said.

It is illegal to own alligators, she said, and people who buy them as pets when the alligators are small sometimes release them in the wild when they get big.

They cannot survive Long Island winters, Montalvo said.

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