Dead alligator found in western Colorado |

Dead alligator found in western Colorado

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

HOTCHKISS, Colorado – Following the discovery of a dead alligator in an irrigation ditch near Hotchkiss, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is offering a reminder to residents that exotic animals can cause serious environmental damage when brought to an area where they are not native.

It is illegal to import wildlife without a state permit, and it is illegal to release any non-native species in Colorado. That includes even small animals, such as non-native frogs, any type of fish, snakes, birds, and mammals.

“Animals from different parts of the country or the world can carry diseases that could devastate native wildlife species,” said Doug Homan, a district wildlife manager in Hotchkiss, which is between Aspen and Grand Junction. “An invasive species also could be a predator that Colorado wildlife cannot defend themselves against.”

The four-foot-long dead alligator was found July 14 about four miles northeast of Hotchkiss next to an irrigation canal. Homan believes the animal was released by someone when it was alive.

“An alligator is not suited to Colorado’s climate and cold water,” Homan said. “This was a very irresponsible action. An alligator is a predator and could have eaten other animals, pets or even attacked a person.”

To dispose of an exotic species, call your local county’s animal control office, a veterinarian or contact a Division of Wildlife office.

Anyone who has information about the alligator is asked to contact Homan at 970-275-4276.

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