According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, a dead alligator was found in Lake Wylie near the Hwy. 74 bridge in Belmont, N.C. by two brothers who were fishing from their kayaks on Sunday.
That’s pretty far north for these creatures to venture, and even though a few other alligator sightings have been reported on this border lake, those were on the South Carolina side.
What makes the story even more curious is that this gator was spotted alive and swimming by a group of friends one day earlier.
“It was swimming out toward the bridge and just circling, and I just said, ‘That ain’t no otter,’ and I got out of there,” said Jacob Cannon, who was at Loftin Riverfront Park in Belmont with some friends when they caught sight of the gator, which the NCWRC estimated to be 5-feet long and about 45 pounds in weight, according to WSOC TV.
The next day, Antonio Figueroa was fishing with his brother when they saw the gator, but this time, it was dead. They alerted the NCWRC, who sent Cody Walker to check things out. Walker said the gator is a bit wider than most of that size, suggesting someone was feeding it much more generously than it would have eaten if it had been living in the wild on its own.
Walker isn’t sure how the gator got there, or why it died, but he took the animal to the agency’s biologists, who are trying to determine the cause of death.
“I can’t really answer how it got here. It could’ve been released. More than likely it was released, but we don’t know that,” Walker said.
Click here to see a video of the alligator.