Living in the Hudson Valley, we've gotten used to wildlife encounters. But we think everyone was a little shocked that a specific reptile was found roaming near a Dutchess County middle school.

Back in September of 2021, New York State Environmental Conservation officers were called out to Van Wyck Junior High School in Wappingers. The ECOs were alerted that a woman had seen an alligator walking around the property.

Huh? An alligator in the Hudson Valley? We would understand if it was a bear or coyote, but we have to admit an alligator is not a common HV sighting.

The DEC writes that in September:

A next door neighbor, who just happened to look out her living room window, saw the 50-pound animal scurrying from a culvert and into the parking lot of the nearby school and immediately called 911. ECO Eyler arrived on scene and safely subdued the animal to transport it to an area animal rehabilitation specialist for evaluation.

They also add that the reptile was between 4 and 5 feet long. We still don't know exactly how or why the alligator was in the Wappingers area. With that being said, the New York State DEC has shared new video footage of the alligator capture.

Take a look below:


This isn't the first time an alligator has been removed from Dutchess County. In July of 2019, 2 alligators along with 20 turtles were removed from a home after it was found that they were living in unsanitary conditions.

Then, in 2021, a LaGrange man was convicted after attempting to sell 7 sandbar sharks out of a pool inside his home. 

Have you ever had a weird animal encounter in your neighborhood?

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