WHEELING, W.Va. — An exotic invader of the Tygart Valley River now lounges at Oglebay Park’s Good Zoo in a warmed pool under a 30-day quarantine.
But before getting its posh accommodations in the holding area at the zoo, the 3.5-foot juvenile American alligator was likely someone’s pet, abandoned at the river near Elkins because it had grown too large for its owner to keep.
Anglers knew it was out there, and posted about it on Facebook for about two weeks before one concerned fisherman set out to help it.
“There were people down there with guns and bows trying to kill the thing,” Tommy Livesay said. “I figured if I didn’t try to get it out of there, someone was going to kill it.”
Livesay snagged it Saturday morning at the Elkins flood control area, using a treble hook. That’s a three-pronged hook that he dragged over the alligator, said Capt. Douglas Benson of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources’ law enforcement at French Creek in Upshur County. It’s a legal method because the alligator is a non-native species whose capture is unregulated…