Police: Alligator sighting a hoax

JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (WKYT) - An alligator sighting had many searching a creek to find the animal but police tell us they are now confident that the sighting was a hoax.

A picture taken Tuesday evening shows what appears to be an alligator in the creek near the Mitchell Street bridge.

"We seen it laying there right beside the stick," said Joshua Coontz. "We didn't know what it was so we got out and took a glimpse of it and it was there."

Coontz says he took a picture of the animal then called the Boyle County Sheriff and Junction City Police to help find it.

"We thought it was fake at first and then we just moved around the water and we come back later and it was gone," Coontz said.

The Junction City Police chief sent the picture to Jeff Mitchell, the curator of aquatics and reptiles at the Cincinnati Zoo.

"There are some things on there I really questioned right away," Mitchell said.

Mitchell consulted an alligator expert in Florida.

"Both of us came to the same conclusion that most likely this is not a real animal," he said.

He says an alligator that size should have banding and that the color was off

"The bright orange on the sides, that's not something you would generally see on an alligator," Mitchell said.

Mitchell says if there is an alligator in the creek it could survive summer in Kentucky but would not survive the winter.

On Wednesday evening the Junction City police were called back out to the area where the alligator was believed to have been seen.

When police arrived they found an alligator toy, approximately 2 feet in length.

They tell us they believe it is the same alligator in the picture.

Police tell us they are confident that the incident is a hoax.

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