- Associated Press - Saturday, September 20, 2014

ROCKVILLE, Minn. (AP) - A 2-foot-long alligator caused a scare - and then a laugh - in Stearns County this week.

A man called the sheriff’s office Thursday at noon to report an exotic animal. A deputy came out and found the alligator basking on the grass next to a creek and swampy area.

The deputy approached cautiously but the alligator didn’t move or retreat. The deputy poked it with his baton - and discovered it was just a plastic toy.

The sheriff’s office jokes in a statement that “it was safely removed.”

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