STATHAM, Ga. -- An alligator has found an unlikely, North Georgia home deep in the heart of University of Georgia Bulldog territory: in a small lake in Statham, just down the road from UGA. And the police chief wants everyone to be aware that it's there.
Chief Steve Martin told 11Alive News Thursday that last month a resident reported seeing an alligator -- not necessarily a University of Florida Gator -- in the small lake off of Providence Road.
Since then, he said, there have been at least two additional sightings, each by a Statham police officer.
Chief Martin is spreading the word, as a precaution, and has asked the Barrow County Sheriff's Office to let everyone know, as well.
According to Georgia's Department of Natural Resources, the alligator population in Georgia is about 200,000, and Georgia gators typically live in South Georgia.
According to DNR's website, "There is no evidence that alligator populations reproduce north of the fall line and any found in these areas have probably been relocated there by humans."
DNR's wildlife management division often investigates the infrequent reports of out-of-place, North Georgia alligators, and if the gators are determined to be public safety risks, professionals are hired and permitted to catch and euthanize them.
Chief Martin said those who have seen the Statham gator estimate it is between four feet and six feet long. He is not aware of any photos or videos of it.
So if you have photos or videos of that alligator, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you see it, of course keep your distance, stay safe, and make sure you are well out of range of any danger. Gator Fans and Bulldog Fans both would love to see what this intrepid invader looks like.