Michigan State Police from the St. Ignace post are helping search for an alligator that escaped from a zoo in west Mackinac County.
When Garlyn Zoo Owner Gary Moore found out one of his alligators escaped his zoo, he feared the worst.
??My first thought was it was a large gator that got out,?? said Moore. ??I was really relieved to find out it was just a little guy that got out.??
A pedestrian spotted the 12-inch alligator, named "Carlos," near the exit of the zoo Sunday night around 8:30 p.m. and called law enforcement.
??It's not every day you see a complaint come in where law enforcement is dispatched to an escaped alligator,?? said Michigan State Police Trooper Fred Strich.
On Monday morning, troopers helped zoo owners search for the gator, but came up empty-handed.
??We looked and looked and looked and we're still looking, but you're looking for a foot-long gator in the woods with all the sticks in the brush,?? said Moore. ??Unless you step right next to him and he hisses and moves you??re not going to see him, but we??ll keep looking.??
Although the American alligator could grow to be more than seven feet long, Moore said Carlos would not survive long enough to become that large of a threat.
??They need a certain temperature to eat and digest food,?? said Moore. ??In Northern Michigan once we get to October and start getting the cold night and 50-degree days, he'll just slow down and then the snow cover up and that'll be the end of it.??
The Michigan State Police asks if anyone spots the small alligator to contact either the Michigan Department of Natural Resources or the Michigan State Police.