By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It may not be safe to venture into a Rochester lake due to a certain reptile.

A mom and her children reported seeing a 3- to 4-foot alligator near Cascade Lake Tuesday night.

Police have searched the lake twice and haven’t found anything — but they say that doesn’t mean an alligator isn’t in there.

Police are warning people to keep their pets and small children away.

This is unusual but not unheard of in Minnesota. Two alligators were found near Brainerd just last summer. And there have been a handful of other gator sightings, including one in Anoka County in 2014. In each case, they were pets who were either released or got away.

“It makes me laugh. It definitely makes me laugh,” said Joe Whitman, who was playing catch with his dog near the lake. “I’m from Charleston, South Carolina, so this is just funny to me.”

But cousins Rivas and Luis Peña don’t quite see it that way. The boys chose the field furthest away from the lake to practice. Watching “Animal Planet” is as close as they want to get to an alligator.

“They just told us to watch out, don’t get too close,” Rivas Peña said. “They’re big. I was in Florida and I saw one and they’re scary.”

Depending on what city you live in in Minnesota, it may be legal to have an alligator as a pet as long as you have the right permits.

Wildlife experts say our cool, spring temperatures would make it hard for an alligator to survive in our state.

[graphiq id=”1LT9o7Pto3z” title=”Rochester, Minnesota” width=”600″ height=”748″ url=”” ]


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