It is not uncommon for Idaho wildlife officials to be called for help when a moose, mountain lion, black bear or other wild animals wander into one of the state’s rural communities.
But Idaho Fish and Game officials are asking the public for help with a particularly unusual find — a 3.5-foot alligator that was discovered hiding in shrubbery in a rural neighbourhood about 40 miles north-west of Boise.
Southwest Region spokesperson Brian Pearson told the Idaho Statesman that a New Plymouth resident was walking their dog on Thursday evening when they noticed something moving in the brush.
Further investigation revealed the alligator — a creature commonly found in the coastal wetlands of the south-eastern US and certainly not native to Idaho.
Mr Pearson said the resident put the alligator in a nearby horse trailer until Idaho Fish and Game conservation officer could pick it up on Friday morning.
The department has the animal in captivity for now, but Mr Pearson said it will be euthanised or given to a licensed facility unless the owner is located.
Idaho Fish and Game officials are hoping members of the public will call the department if they have any information about the alligator’s origins.