JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - A couple has found a nearly 2-foot-long alligator in a large rain-filled Joplin pothole.
The Joplin Globe reports that Steve Wiktorek and Sheila Burke were returning from work to their home late Sunday afternoon when they noticed movement in the pothole. The couple, along with Burke's daughter, used a broom and rake to corral the gator. To keep it from biting, they taped its mouth closed with black electrical tape.
Burke says the animal control officer dispatched to pick up the gator "just kind of shook his head."
Joplin Health Department director Dan Pekarek suspects that the gator escaped or that its owner let it go because it was getting too big to handle.
The Joplin Humane Society is holding the animal and looking into placement options.