Another alligator found in central Minnesota

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There's an infestation in the Brainerd Lakes area and it's not of mosquitoes – it's alligators.

The Cass County Sheriff's Office shared a picture of an alligator they captured on Tuesday – the second caught in Minnesota in the past week after officers found one in nearby Crow Wing County.

Deputies got a report of a possible alligator sighting in Hardy Lake, near Pillager, according to a Sheriff's Office Facebook post.

There had been previous reports of alligator in and around the area, and when deputies and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff went to the lake on Tuesday, they found the small reptile near the shoreline.

The animal was taken to the Safari North Wildlife Park near Brainerd.

MPR reports there have been three separate alligator sightings in the two counties the past two weeks, with Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch saying it's the "first time I recall ever dealing with an alligator."

Authorities told the news organization that people in the Brainerd Lakes area should stay away should they come across an alligator – no matter how small – and report it as soon as possible.

Though it's unclear where these two gators have come from, it's not natural for them to live this far north, according to Rainforest Adventures.

While they live on the Mississippi, they rarely come north of Memphis as they would not survive the harsh winter, the blog says.

It's not illegal to own an alligator in Minnesota provided it was purchased through the right channels, though city ordinances usually don't allow wild animals to be kept as pets.

Nonetheless some owned by residents do find their way into state lakes and ponds.

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