Hunter Stumbles Upon Baby Alligator In Minnesota
When you find yourself out hunting in the midwest, the last thing you expect to stumble across is a baby alligator, but that's exactly what happened to one Minnesota man recently.
Not only is it now officially deer hunting season in Minnesota, but it's also apparently alligator hunting season as well. According to Dakota News Now, Cory Klocek, a former member of the U.S. military and current firefighter unexpectedly came across the 3-foot reptile while hunting around East Bethel, Minnesota in Anoka County. Klocek was out for the 2020 deer gun season opener when he spotted a prized 10 point buck in the distance. After shooting the animal, Klocek got up and headed in that direction, which is precisely when he spotted the alligator.
At that point, Klocek responsibly called the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for further instructions. Alligators are obviously not animals that live in the wild in Minnesota, so he knew he was dealing with something out of the ordinary. When asked if he should shoot the animal or let it go, Klocek was told he could in fact shoot it. After grabbing a small-caliber gun, Klocek proceeded to shoot the animal, killing it.
The range of the American Alligator is mainly in the southeastern United States. They're predominately found in the states of Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia. So, just how did the alligator wind up in this part of the country in the first place? Klocek's best guess is that it was someone's pet at one point. When the animal became too large and too difficult to care for, the previous owner dumped it in the wild.