By Associated Press - Friday, July 24, 2020

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - One of two alligators who were stolen from an animal store in Manhattan was recaptured after a man who spotted it waded into a creek and wrestled it into submission.

The 5-foot alligator, named Beauregard, was captured Thursday after it was seen sunbathing near Walnut Creek. It and another American Alligator were taken from Manhattan Reptile World in June. The other alligator was seen in Wildcat Creek days after the theft but it drowned in a trap.

A construction worker, Hunter Cragg, 22, waded into the creek and grabbed the alligator after efforts to lure it with bait failed, The Manhattan Mercury reported.

“I figured (the store’s owner) just needed some help, and I guess I just wasn’t too scared of the gator,” Cragg said. “I just wanted to be helpful and thought it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience catching an alligator in Manhattan, Kansas, so I thought I’d just give it a try.”

Officials don’t know who took the alligators or how they ended up in the creek.

Both alligators were rescued from private homes in Kansas City and Manhattan. Reptile World keeps the alligators for display and has a license to keep them.

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