JULY 25, 2005 - Posted at 7:49 a.m. CDT
SEARCY, AR - There's been at least two alligator sightings in central Arkansas communities recently. Searcy residents on a fishing trip last week came across a six-foot alligator living in a private pond just off Nicholson Road. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says officers captured the animal and took it to a wilderness area near Brinkley. In Sherwood, officials are still looking for an alligator they believe is living in Lake Cherrywood.
Alligators are fully protected as a threatened species and populations in Arkansas are growing. State wildlife experts say the animals play a vital role in wetland communities, helping control populations of nuisance animals.