Clem the Alligator Finally Captured

Clem the Alligator Finally Captured

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Keith McCord ReportingWe have an update on that alligator search down near the Utah-Arizona border -- they got him! The gator has been living in the area for about 20-years, and when the BLM bought the property a few years ago, they decided to try to catch him for safety reasons. But it wasn't an easy hunt.

Clem the Alligator Finally Captured

The alligator hadn't been seen in years, but experts decided to focus on a pond that was formed by some natural springs in the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument. Once they found him, it took a month to reel him in.

Meet "Clem", all 8-feet 3-inches of him. He's on his way to a new home, somewhere in Arizona. Clem was captured last night in a pond about 90-miles southwest of St. George.

Russ Johnson, Phoenix Heptological Society: "I gave it a pull, and he was on the end of it and I could hear him thrashing around.

The search for Clem began last month. Members of the Phoenix Herpetological Society--reptile experts--set traps baited with bunnies and chickens near a pond where he had been living. Clem didn't bite, so two days ago they came back with a new strategy.

They brought a recording of an injured baby alligator and played it on a boom box. About 9 o'clock Tuesday night Clem fell for it.

Russ Johnson: "Personally, I think that call did something yesterday. And I think it woke him up and he went out looking and he just won't look in the days. And he went looking and he got a whiff of that rabbit over there. His neck was in the noose and he still ate that rabbit."

Clem has been living in these parts for nearly 20-years. The previous land owner apparently got him as a gift, and then left him when the land was sold to the BLM.

After giving him the once-over, Clem was deemed healthy, though a bit skinny.

Russ Johnson: "And four of us were able to pack him out. Like I say maybe 125, maybe 140. He should be twice that weight because if you take a look at the size of his head, he's 8 foot 3, he should be 250 pounds at 20-years old."

They packed a horse trailer with ice, and Clem is now on his way to Scottsdale. Eventually, he'll be sent to a zoo or wildlife preserve somewhere. The BLM spent close to 7-thousand dollars hunting for Clem.

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