MIDDLESEX COUNTY, N.J. (PIX11) — A small alligator was still being sought on Monday after it was spotted over the weekend in Middlesex County, New Jersey, police said.

The Middlesex Borough Police Department said the alligator has been seen in the waters of Lake Creighton, commonly known as the Duck Pond, and the Ambrose Brook, which is a conduit between the lake and the Raritan River.

Authorities estimated the alligator is 3-4 feet in length. Police warned people not to approach or attempt to capture the alligator.

“We are working closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Conservation Police to capture and relocate the reptile,” the police department said.

Crews searching for the alligator have yet to find it as of Monday afternoon. Police closed Victor Crowell Park in the interest of public safety.

“Victor Crowell Park will be closed to the public for a minimum of 72 hours or until such time that the alligator is deemed to no longer be a threat,” Middlesex Borough Police Chief Matthew Geist said Monday afternoon. “Citizens are strongly urged to stay away from Creighton Lake and the Ambrose Brook and should NOT approach or make attempts to capture the alligator.”

Longtime residents in the area speculate that someone dumped the alligator in the water.

“It’s kind of sad because the alligator, obviously, was someone’s pet, and they just threw it away. There are plenty of places to hide here … It could be at home here for a while,” said Middlesex resident Rich Thomasey, referring to the marshlands and tree logs that could help disguise the alligator.

This isn’t the first time an alligator has been spotted in the Garden State. A man was previously accused of staging the abandonment of an alligator in Neptune back in January, but the animal has since been relocated to a Florida sanctuary.

Anyone who sees the alligator is asked to contact the Middlesex Police Department at (732) 356-1900 extension 0 or dial 911.

Finn Hoogensen is a digital journalist who has covered local news for more than five years. He has been with PIX11 News since 2022. See more of his work here.