Local animal control in downstate Illinois was called out to capture a creature that shouldn't be hanging out in the Midwest, and they're "unclear" on exactly what it is.

Small Town in Illinois Captures Strange Reptile

According to a press release from Macon County Animal Control and Care Center in Decatur, Illinois, there was a report on Wednesday (5/24) of an alligator in the front yard of a residence in the city.

When the Animal Control Wardens arrived on the 900 block of East Cantrell in Decatur, they discovered the reptile that was approximately 3 1/2 feet in length.

A video of the reptile being captured by Animal Control in Decatur was shared on the 217 Problems TikTok page.

Because an animal control operation in Illinois doesn't normally deal with these types of pets, they were unclear if the creature was "an alligator or a caiman."

According to WLTX-TV, a small alligator is often mistaken for a caiman, but the differences are "caimans typically have rougher scales on the belly and on their back. Most caimans only grow to four to five feet long. Black caimans can grow up to alligator size, up to twelve feet in the wild."

If it does turn out to be a caiman, they are not from the United States so it's possible it was illegally brought into the U.S. through pet trade.

What Happens to the Reptile After It's Captured?

After it was captured, the reptile was held temporarily by Mason County Animal Control until it was taken into custody by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Animal control is unclear how the reptile arrived in Illinois, but said it didn't have any injuries or abnormalities.

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

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