RHEA COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Although the Tennessee Volunteers are playing the Florida Gators on Saturday, a different kind of gator was found in East Tennessee waters on Tuesday.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Officers Hunter Poore and Colt Elrod found the alligator in Rhea County, a post from the Agency stated. Poore and Elrod were able to successfully trap the alligator, which was later taken to the Chattanooga Zoo.
Although these reptiles have been spotted in Tennessee, the TWRA says alligator sightings are not normal and asks people to not dump their pets.
News Channel 11’s sister station in Knoxville, WATE, previously spoke with TWRA Wildlife Information Specialist Matt Cameron about alligator sightings in East Tennessee.
“Alligators expanding into Tennessee is just another species that we must learn to coexist with like many of the other southern states,” Cameron said in an email to WATE. “It is, however, highly unlikely that they will ever expand their range into East Tennessee.”
Cameron said water temperatures in East Tennessee get too cold in the winter for alligators to thrive, although they could survive.
To learn more about the TWRA’s documentation of alligators across the Volunteer State, click here.