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Girl finds dead baby alligator on beach at Prior Lake

There are no clues as to how it got there.
Baby alligator.

A young Minnesota girl out with her grandparents on Prior Lake made a most unusual catch, and the story has gone viral.

The girl was on the shore last Saturday when she found a baby alligator, according to a Facebook post that has garnered thousands of shares:

According to KSTP, the girl, Quinlynn Lehrman, discovered the alligator was dead soon after she found it. 

The station says DNR officials, who picked up the carcass the next day, will run tests to determine how the alligator died, and return to its owner if it had one. 

 They haven't yet determined how it reached Prior Lake. 

This is at least the fourth alligator to be found in Minnesota in the last several years; in the summer of 2016, three were captured in north-central Minnesota, as KARE 11 reported at the time. 

Owning an alligator is apparently not banned outright in Minnesota, with MinnPost noting they're forbidden by law in "some areas" of the state.

Nonetheless, "reptile experts generally discourage keeping alligators as pets, especially in Minnesota, where the cold weather doesn't suit them," the site says.

A Forbes piece says "unwanted alligators are often dumped in public waterways."

A disquieting fact when you remember that the reptiles can grow to be up to 13 feet long and weigh "upwards of 1,500 pounds," according to this handy guide called "Let's talk about why a pet alligator is not a good idea."

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