Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 4th, 2011
Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County workers say they’ve seen the alligator in the Beaver Run Reservoir water with just the top of its body visible above the water line.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting today that
…a 5-foot alligator seen paddling around the waters of northern Westmoreland County’s Beaver Run Reservoir has startled passers-by.
“Our security people spotted an alligator there about a month ago, and we haven’t found it yet,” Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County manager Chris Kerr said.
The reservoir, with 25 miles of shoreline, is a primary source of drinking water provided by the authority to more than 125,000 customers. It is on a 5,000-acre parcel in Bell, Salem and Washington townships.
Kerr said the fenced reservoir is off limits to the public and not close enough to homes to raise concerns about the alligator harming anyone. He said the authority has taken no steps to alert the public about the alligator and does not plan to search for it.
“We contacted the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and asked them about it. They said it’s not uncommon for some pet owners to leave a reptile in the water once they decide they don’t want it anymore,” Kerr said.
He said commission officials assured authority personnel that the alligator, not used to the cold, northern environment, will not survive the winter.
“Because it’s not native to this area, it won’t survive. It’s too cold, and the alligator is not meant to survive in this kind of coldness,” said Eric Levis, spokesman for the Fish and Boat Commission.
But “obviously, stay away from it if you see it,” he said.
Pictures of the alligator have surfaced, including one obtained by authority workers. Some say they’ve seen the alligator sunning itself on the reservoir’s banks and feeding on fish. Others have seen it in the water with just the top of its body visible above the water line. The alligator has not displayed any aggressiveness, Kerr said.
Ray Bamrick, lead reptile keeper at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, said even a 5-foot alligator could do considerable damage to a human and urges caution by anyone who sees the reptile.
Bamrick said although the alligator may survive through October and even into November, he agrees that ultimately, its days are numbered.
“It’s fine right now, but as it gets cold at night and over days of cold temperature it cannot last. It will eventually die if it is not captured. It won’t take long,” he said.
Thanks to newstipster Bill Edmondson.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.