A roughly five and a half foot alligator was found living in a Westerly yard.
"It was outside and it was insulated or camouflaged you pick with bails of hay,” said Westerly Animal Control Officer Arthur Smith.
That covering with hay and a tarp is what made the owner of the property suspicious.
The gator was being kept warm by heaters. Smith says the animal has been in Rhode Island for quite some time and in Westerly for about eleven months. He tells ABC 6 News that the gator originally came from Florida.
"The problem in Rhode Island and in many communities is that you're not allowed to have alligators and in fact in Westerly we have an ordinance in which dangerous animals are prohibited,” said Smith.
Westerly animal control ended up contacting DEM which found an alligator handler to help remove the animal.
"My focus was clearly the public safety threat. And, although it was in a pen, it was in a pen that I believe that it could have possibly have escaped,” said Smith.
The owner of the alligator has been charged with violating the town's dangerous animals ordinance. The alligator will be sent to a refuge in Texas.