FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Typically the only time West Virginians encounter an alligator is during a vacation down south. However, the Division of Natural Resources Police were getting repeated calls in recent days about the siting of one in Marion County.
Callers were claiming to have seen the large reptile in the Monongahela River between Fairmont and Rivesville.
Natural Resources Police learned the stories were true, but two local fishermen who were not identified took care of the problem. The two men hauled in what is now believed to be a caiman Friday morning. The caiman is a member of the alligator family.
They provided the DNR with photos of the beast. Officers say the men say they plan to eat the reptile.
Natural Resources officials occasionally are called to deal with caimen which are not native, but are often kept as pets and then released or escape. It’s unlikely the reptile would survive a West Virginia winter.