Alligator takes late-night stroll through town

Fri Jul 2, 2010 7:12am EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - An alligator was found roaming the streets of a small German town in the middle of the night, authorities said on Friday.

Police in Gross-Rohrheim got a 2 a.m. phone call on Thursday from a bystander who said he had just seen an alligator walking in front of a motorcycle shop in the center of town.

"At first they just broke out laughing..," said police spokesman Ferdinand Derigs. "But here in the state of Hesse we're ready for anything that comes our way."

Two officers dispatched to investigate were able to capture the 3.3-foot long alligator with equipment ordinarily used to capture dogs.

"The alligator was taken into custody," police said in a statement. Authorities soon found it had escaped from a small circus being staged at a nearby school. The alligator was later handed over to school officials.

(Reporting by Max Chrambach; editing by Steve Addison)