Alligator in Pine Lake confirmed

2009-06-19T00:00:00Z Alligator in Pine Lake confirmedStan Maddux
Times Correspondent
June 19, 2009 12:00 am  • 

LAPORTE | Two fishermen screaming for help led police to Pine Lake where officers spotted an alligator in what's the first confirmed sighting.

"It was no bigger than 4-foot long," said LaPorte police Officer Matthew Drangmeister, who saw the reptile on Wednesday.

According to police, officers about 10 p.m. Tuesday responded to Pine Lake near the channel.

Two fishermen were on a floating platform about 20 feet off shore when they spotted the alligator swimming.

The water was only knee deep but the men refused to get back in and head toward shore.

Their screams caught the attention of a passing motorist who contacted authorities. Police shined flashlights on the water as the men waded to shore.

"They said they seen the alligator and got scared and was not going to walk back through the water to shore without our presence there to make sure the alligator didn't attack them," Drangmeister said.

The next morning, Drangmeister out of curiosity returned about sunrise and spotted the reptile about 200 yards off shore.

Officer Chae Uhlemann also caught a glimpse and "positively identified it as an alligator," Drangmeister said.

An alligator sighting was first reported June 1 by fisherman near the same channel.

Ever since, Davis said DNR officers during the course of their regular duties are looking harder along the shoreline and using binoculars to try and spot the reptile believed to be a discarded pet.

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