Reptile experts called in to locate alligator in Newcastle park

Alligator reported in park in Newcastle, England

source: Ian Herbert
Independent March 1 2000 p7

Visitors to Heaton Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, report having seen a six foot alligator. Reptile experts believe this could be a caiman alligator, native to South America, and often sold as an exotic pet. Peter Heathcote, director of the Reptile Trust, advises the public not to approach the alligator, but to contact the trust. Three small three foot long alligators were found abandoned across Tyneside in summer 1999. The new alligator could be part of that batch, after having grown. Joggers are not considered to be at risk from the Heaton Park alligator, according to a wildlife liason officer for the police.