Alligator captured in Monroe County home's backyard, brought to Chattanooga

This alligator is currently in a large metal tub, but the Chattanooga zoo says it's not a permanent home. This is just until they can transport it to a more suitable one. (Image: WTVC)

It appears that Florida fans have arrived early in Tennessee, just two days before the Tennessee Volunteers take on the rival Florida Gators.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officers found an almost 5-foot long alligator in Monroe County, Tennessee yesterday.

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Now this alligator is here in the Scenic City.

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At the Chattanooga Zoo, you'll find a few alligator exhibits - unfortunately, none that can be a permanent home for this nearly 5 foot long american alligator.

Zoo Curator Stacy Laberdee says the zoo received the call for help from TWRA Wednesday afternoon.

Laberdee says "they called us asking if we'd be willing to hold this alligator because they needed a place to house it temporarily after it was found in someone's back yard."

Because of protocol, she says they'll have to keep him separate from the zoo's permanent residents. "Whenever there's a new animal that comes into the zoo we usually have a period where we don't want it to be a part of our animal collection due to infectious disease or something."

There is an alligator exhibit at the zoo, but those are Chinese alligators, and Laberdee says the zoo wouldn't mix the two different species together.

For now, a tub is the gator's temporary home in Tennessee.

"Since we don't have a nice permanent habitat for it, right now it is in a temporary holding situation. We do hope to find a new home for it hopefully within a month or two," says Laberdee.

Laberdee also said that the alligator can grow an average of a foot per year, and this one could eventually be as large as 15 feet in length.

Deputies say that if you spot an alligator or any dangerous animal in your yard, get to a safe place away from the animal and call 911.

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