UPDATE: What apparently was a pet alligator that grew too big for its owner was plucked from the Passaic River near the Paterson shore by Elmwood Park and Fair Lawn emergency responders around noon today.
The fisherman who first spotted the gator around 8:20 a.m. on the Elmwood Park side correctly estimated it to be four to five feet long, Police Chief Michael Foligno told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Foligno said the creature “was close to the shore at first, then swam out about 500 yards from this side [toward Paterson]….In all likelihood it was a pet who grew too big and its owner dumped it.”
American alligators can grow from 11 to 15 feet — and will actually thrive in a river such as the Passaic, experts note.
A crowd of photographers and onlookers gathered at the marina in Elmwood Park while police and firefighters from the borough and Fair Lawn retrieved the gator.
PHOTO: Aaron Haber
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