Friday, 22 July 2011

Is there an alligator in this Ontario creek?

An alligator is cruising through the murky waters of an eastern Ontario pond. The reptile has eluded capture for almost three weeks.

The local police chief is warning area residents to be cautious when fishing near the Mill Pond near Mill St. in Stirling, a town 30 minutes northwest of Belleville.

“Someone called in and said there was an alligator in the pond,” said Stirling-Rawdon police chief Brian T. Foley. “Um, yeah, OK.”

He scrambled Sgt. James Orr to the pond. The officer scoured the area for days but saw nothing. Word quickly spread through the small community and morphed into an urban legend — the area’s own Loch Ness Monster.

Ron Main, intrigued by the story, figured the alligator would swim for warmer, shallower waters from the deep part where it was first spotted. He was correct. A three-foot long alligator swam through the pond.

But Main didn’t have his camera. He went back last Friday night and found the alligator in the same area once again. That time, he snapped a blurry photo and posted it to his Facebook page.

While swimming in the pond is rare, many people fish the waters from the shoreline and walk their dogs on the water’s edge.

“It’s big enough to take ducklings, goslings or even small dogs like a chihuahua,” Foley said.

The alligator hasn’t been seen since Friday. The police have relinquished the hunt to the Ministry of Natural Resources, which is currently investigating.

Anyone who spots the reptile is urged to call police or the provincial ministry.

Liam Casey

Staff Reporter

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