DEEP: Gator found in Suffield was stuffed - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DEEP: Gator found in Suffield was stuffed

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An apparent alligator was found dead along the Connecticut River in Suffield. (WFSB photo) An apparent alligator was found dead along the Connecticut River in Suffield. (WFSB photo)

The apparent discovery of an alligator along the banks of a river in Suffield prompted a response from environmental officials.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said it received a report that the dead gator was found along the Connecticut River over the weekend.

DEEP confirmed on Monday afternoon that it was not a live gator. It said it was stuffed.

No other information was provided.

Eyewitness Ted Montanez said he was out for a ride on his ATV on Sunday when he spotted what appeared to be a 5 foot gator just north of Hartford. He said the carcass was surrounded by driftwood next to the water's edge.

"I just happened to catch [it] out of corner of my eye," Montanez said. "I thought it was maybe drift wood or something."

He shared photos of it on Facebook and with Eyewitness News. Check them out here.

"I lived in Florida for a while so I knew what it was when I saw it," Montanez said. "I just wasn’t expecting to see it here in Connecticut."

Eyewitness News went to the spot and found the alleged carcass.

Montanez said he told his family about the discovery.

"They didn't believe me," he said.

He said he ended up bringing his family to the spot. His wife said she was shocked.

"She still can't believe it," he said.

He said he made sure it was dead before letting anyone near it. He said his daughter was more curious than he and his wife.

"She wanted one of its teeth and I was like 'no,'" Montanez said. 

According to DEEP, regulations about owning reptiles like alligators have been in place since March 1, 2012. According to those regulations, owning a member within the order of Crocodylia (including, but not limited to, alligator, crocodile and caiman) is prohibited.

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