EAST YAPHANK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 2 1/2 -foot-long alligator found on the shoulder of the Long Island Expressway has been safely removed by police.

Suffolk County police said a motorist spotted the gator on Monday in East Yaphank, in the eastbound shoulder of the highway.

Chief Michael Sharkey tells Newsday that officers used milk crates to contain the alligator. He says the creature was probably a pet that was dumped or got loose.

He said people often get them as pets and then release them after they get too big.

The Suffolk SPCA was offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction for animal cruelty of the person who may have abandoned the gator on the road.

If they find the person who owned the gator, what should be done? Leave a comment below…

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