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GRESHAM, Ore. -- Crews continued working Saturday to lure an alligator out of a Gresham pond, animal control officers said.

Police received a report Thursday that a large reptile was in a pond behind the Birdsdale Business Center, in the 2200 block of NW Birdsdale Avenue, according to Multnomah County Animal Control Supervisor Chuck Poetz.

The responding animal control officer spotted an alligator in the pond, Poetz said.

It s a runoff pond that s about an acre in size and is totally fenced, Poetz added. The officer had to wait for someone with a key to arrive before he could access the pond.

Animal control took a large dog trap out to the pond Friday morning and baited it with meat in an attempt to remove the reptile from the pond. Once it has been trapped, Poetz said a reptile expert would likely take it outside of Multnomah County, because alligators are illegal in the county.

We are checking the trap regularly and will keep doing so throughout the weekend, Poetz said Saturday. We want to catch the animal as soon as possible for its own safety, and as safely as possible for our own officers.

It's believed the alligator could live on its own for another two to three months depending on the animal's body fat reserves, Poetz added. But there is a concern that colder temperatures could cause the animal to develop a respiratory disease before that point.

He said officers would be checking the pond regularly and would reassess the strategy if necessary.

Poetz said officers don't know where the alligator came from, but it likely was a pet that grew too large to keep and was dumped.


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