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    Michigan park officials raise alarm about potential alligator sighting: 'Be aware'

    By Taylor Ardrey and Susan Bromley, USA TODAY,


    Michigan park officials informed residents about a potential alligator sighting this week, advising them to stay alert.

    According to , part of USA Today Network, the reptile was spotted on Thursday in Kensington Metropark in Milford, about 40 miles from Detroit. Park police and other agencies, including Oakland Animal Control and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, launched an effort to hunt for the alligator.

    Metropark's communications specialist, Danielle Mauter, said the search continued until shortly after midnight, with drones, ATVs, boats, and a helicopter all in use, and she thanked all responders for their extensive efforts.

    "Despite everyone’s best efforts and genuine collaborative spirit, we were unable to spot or locate the alligator," Mauter said in a statement. Friday. "There have been questions about size, which we can not confirm from the one reported sighting. At this time, we will be keeping our eyes open and seeing if the possible alligator makes another appearance, and we will leave the warning signs in place for the public’s assistance with any sightings as well."

    The signs at the park warn, "Be Aware. Possible alligator sighting in Kent Lake," and advises visitors to call the Metroparks Police at 810-227-8910 if the alligator is spotted.

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    Mauter said that all areas of the park remain open. The sighting occurred in an area of the lake not open to swimming, and also an area that is "lesser used" for boating. She also noted that "if this sighting is real, it is most likely the result of someone releasing a pet alligator into the lake."

    Although alligators aren't native to Michigan, they are found in several states across the U.S., including :

    • Florida
    • Louisiana
    • Texas
    • Mississippi
    • North Carolina
    • South Carolina
    • Georgia
    • Mississippi
    • Arkansas

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michigan park officials raise alarm about potential alligator sighting: 'Be aware'

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