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WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — A 5-foot alligator has been captured and removed from a Whitley County lake, WANE 15 has learned.

WANE 15 received several reports of an alligator that was spotted in New Lake, off C.R. 350 West and 700 North about 7 miles northwest of Columbia City.

Capt. Jet Quillen with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources told WANE 15 that DNR received a report about the alligator on Sunday and a conservation officer was sent out to investigate. The officer did not see anything at that time. Another officer was sent out Monday night and did not see anything, either.

Overnight, though, a resident in the area caught the alligator with a trebel hook, WANE 15 learned. It measured 63 inches – more than 5 feet long.

The resident put the reptile down.

Whitley County Commissioner Theresa Green said fellow Commissioner Chad Banks spoke with the person who caught the large reptile. Green said officials believe someone had the alligator as a pet and released it into the lake because it became too large and the owner could no longer care for it.

Quillen said that with DNR does not regulate alligators, but you must permit them with the State of Indiana once they are 5 feet or larger.

Green said that the Whitley County Commissioners do not support residents keeping exotic animals.