An Idaho man found a 3.5-foot alligator when he was out walking his dog, state fish and game officials said.

Authorities were alerted to the startling discovery around 8:30 p.m. Thursday after the dogwalker “spotted something moving in the brush” of a rural area near New Plymouth, a city of about 1,500 located 50 miles northwest of Boise.

“The reporting party loaded the alligator into a nearby horse trailer and called Fish and Game, who picked up the animal the following morning,” said Idaho Fish and Game spokesman Brian Pearson.

An Idaho Fish and Game officer with an alligator found in New Plymouth, a town about 50 miles northwest of Boise.

It is illegal to possess alligators, or any crocodilians, without proper permits in Idaho. It’s also illegal in Idaho to release captive crocodiles or alligators into the wild.

Alligators are usually found in freshwater, slow-moving rivers, swamps and marshes of the southeastern U.S. It’s not clear how one would wind up in the wild in Idaho.

“In all likelihood, this alligator got loose from someone, and we are interested in finding the owner,” said Regional Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell.

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