Alligator found in Kansas lake

State wildlife officials are clueless to origins of an alligator found floating dead in a Kansas lake on Wednesday.

Jason Goeckler, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks invasive species coordinator, said the 64-inch long reptile was found by a fisherman near the warm water discharge area of Coffey County Lake.

The lake is basically the water supply for the Wolf Creek Nuclear plant north of Burlington.

Wildlife officials have no clues as to origin of this 64-inch long alligator that ws found floating in Coffey County Lake on Wednesday.

Wildlife officials have no clues to origin of this 64-inch long alligator found floating in Coffey County Lake on Wednesday.

Goeckler  hasn’t heard any reports of alligators in Kansas for several years. A few years ago a caiman, a relative to alligators, was found near Cheney Lake. It had escaped from a nearby residence where it was being kept as a pet.

In the wild alligators range in the Gulf States and as far north as southern Arkansas or extreme southeast Oklahoma.

Wildlife and Parks has no idea how long the ‘gator may have been in the lake.

They do know, however, that it shouldn’t have been put there.

A close-up look at the head of the alligator found dead at Coffey County Lake on Wednesday.

A close-up look at the head of the alligator found dead at Coffey County Lake on Wednesday.

“We’re looking at it as another invasive species, like zebra mussels, and trying to educate the public,” Goeckler said. “You don’t release exotic species into our environment. It’s illegal and it could be dangerous.”