A 3-and-a-half-foot alligator was found crawling around in the parking lot of a Delaware grocery store.
The reptile was covered in mud.
The alligator was seen walking around a Dover, Del. parking lot Thursday afternoon, according to Delaware Fish and Wild Life officials.
When officials responded to the call from a person who spotted the gator, they found it in a retention pond that was recently built for water run-off at a nearby Wawa, Delaware Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Greg Rhodes told NBC10 Philadelphia.
Officials believe the animal was covered in mud because it had been hibernating. Rhodes says that the alligator was probably living there all winter.
An animal rehabilitation expert is now taking care of the alligator, according to Rhodes.
Officials think that someone had the gator as a pet and then released it outside when they couldn’t handle the quickly growing reptile.
Officials are in contact with a wildlife agency in Maryland that may take the animal in, Rhodes said.