Is there an alligator loose in Rochester? Police warn people to be on the lookout

Police searched twice and didn't find anything. But they say people should still be cautious.
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There could be something unusual lurking in the waters of Rochester's Cascade Lake.

Tuesday evening around 8:15 p.m., police tell GoMN some children called to report they'd seen a crocodile or alligator in the area. Apparently it was 3 or 4-feet long.

According to KROC radio, the kids' mom also spoke to officials. She explained the kids first saw the animal, then she went out to check and also spotted it in the water.

As of Wednesday afternoon, police have conducted two searches. However, they didn't find anything.

But officials say that doesn't mean there's absolutely nothing out there. Residents are asked to be cautious, especially when bringing their pets to the area. If anybody sees the reported reptile, they're asked to keep away from it and call the police.

If there is indeed an alligator in the water, police believe it was probably someone's pet.

Alligators in Minnesota

If there is a gator in the Minnesota lake, it definitely wouldn't be the first time.

Last summer, two were found roaming the Brainerd area. In 2014, one was found in Anoka County. There were also sightings in 2013 and 2012.

Since gators are not native to Minnesota, officials tend to believe they have been someone's pet. That's actually legal in Minnesota as long as you get all the right permits (and your city allows it).

What happens is people get a little adorable pet alligator without realizing it's going to get huge. Gators grow well beyond 10 feet, and can weigh nearly 1,000 pounds. On top of that, they're meat eaters and can be dangerous to manage.

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