MANHATTAN–An alligator that recently turned up missing from Manhattan’s Reptile World pet store was found dead late Saturday after being caught in a trap set up along Manhattan’s Wildcat Creek, Reptile World reported on its Facebook site.
“We are very sad to report that our alligator that was in Wildcat Creek was found dead tonight,” that site said. “He somehow fell into the water after getting caught in the trap set out for him/her.”
A second alligator recently stolen from Reptile World has not yet been found, the store’s Facebook site added.
Both alligators were stolen late June 5. One was subsequently spotted in the area of Wildcat Creek.
Tuttle Creek Lake park manager Melissa Bean said in an online video that area park rangers have been keeping an eye out for the second alligator and cautioned others also searching for the reptile to keep safety in mind.
“On the average, there has been only one fatal accident involving alligators reported each year in the country, but there are more than 130 water-related fatalities reported every year,” Bean said. “Most of those could have been prevented if people would just wear life preservers. So if you are out gator hunting in Kansas, wear a life jacket in and around water sources.”
Bean said if anyone spotted the missing alligator they should keep their distance and call law enforcement.
* Gannett reporter Jennifer Stultz contributed to this story.