EATONTOWN, N.J. (PIX11) – Talk about being cold-blooded.

Monmouth County SPCA Humane Police are on the hunt for whoever abandoned a young alligator in an airtight container in a neighborhood.

“They took the easy way out and dumped it and figured they’d get away with it,” said Monmouth SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Chief Michael Goldfarb.

It was late Sunday night when a teenager noticed a strange black and yellow container in an empty lot on Bangs Avenue in Neptune, police said. Inside, they say, he found the young gator.

“No holes, no ventilation, no food, no water,” said Dr. Samantha Mammen, medical director of the Monmouth County SPCA.

Humane police officers brought in the 2- to 3-year-old gator, who they say was likely illegally owned.

“Immediately my concern was making sure he had adequate heat supply, making sure he didn’t get too cold,” said Mammen. “They get cold, they can get lethargic, and then they can pass away because they’re not able to hunt, they’re not able to do what they need to do.”

PIX11 News was there as the State Department of Fish and Wildlife took the young gator to a safe place where it will live for many years to come.

“Absolutely it’s animal cruelty,” said Goldfarb. “It’s rare, but somebody purposefully did it for sure.”

Police say if you or someone you know owns a reptile as a pet and it’s not working out, don’t simply abandon it and leave it to die; there are resources to help you.

“We have the SPCA here who will come and help whenever possible,” said Goldfarb. “There are other agencies in New Jersey, New Jersey Fish and Wildlife, Department of Agriculture, there are all sorts of resources to do the right thing.”

The MCSPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division is seeking the public’s help in locating the individual who abandoned the alligator. Anyone with information is asked to contact MCSPCA Humane Law Enforcement at 732-440-1539. Calls will remain anonymous.