The reptile is the first of its kind to be caught in the wild in Florida, an official with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.
It was spotted and captured by members of the sheriff’s mounted patrol unit, which trains at the public park.
Toni Englert, who keeps horses at the park’s stable, witnessed the capture.
“The officers called me over and said ‘Toni, I think we know what happened to the ducks,’ ” Englert said.
Englert, who often exercises her horses at the same time the deputies train, had pointed out to them that the park’s ducks and geese — including a prizewinning goose — had been disappearing in the past few months. She said she assumed an alligator was feasting on the waterfowl.
“We would only find feathers all over the place,” she said.
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