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Angler snags an alligator in Beaver River

Published: Fri, August 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.

NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. (AP) -- After finding animals from the Amazon and the Everglades, some residents and anglers are wondering what exotic creatures might turn up in Beaver County next.
Twenty-two-year-old Ambridge angler Tim Rodriguez snagged a 3-foot American alligator near the Townsend Dam on the Beaver River Thursday.
"I had him on the line about four times, but he kept breaking the line," Rodriguez said. "I finally caught him the fifth time on a minnow."
The reptile, spotted Tuesday by another fisherman, was causing a stir in Beaver County, where three pacus, vegetarian cousins of the piranhas, were landed last summer.
"It seems every year we get something exotic. ... I wonder what will come out of the river next year?" said Ronald Zeigler, a worker at Keener's Sports Emporium, where the alligator was taken for safekeeping until it is turned over to the Pittsburgh Zoo.
Rather than swimming from their native environments, authorities figure the exotic animals are being found in southwestern Pennsylvania because people own them as pets, don't want them anymore and dump them in rivers.

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