Alligator on the loose in New Lebanon

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NEW LEBANON, N.Y. – Animal control in Columbia County says they are still searching for a lost alligator named “Kobe” in the town of New Lebanon.

New Lebanon Animal Control Officer Wes Powell says Rhonda's Reptiles, a reptile rescue business in the town, lost the three-foot American alligator overnight when Kobe got out of his cage. 

On Friday, Powell said the search was active in the area near Mill Road and Route 20, as they believe the 4-year-old alligator needs to sun itself during the afternoon. State Police have assisted animal control in the search for the reptile.

“I went into a state of panic. I started frantically searching around the area, hoping that he was just lying somewhere,” said Kobe's owner, Rhonda Leavitt.

Leavitt says Kobe escaped when she moved the gator to another cage to clean the one he was kept in. Leavitt says she has done this hundreds of times before, only this time Kobe found his way out.

Police say neighbors should be on the lookout, and there are lots of pets and children in the area who should stay inside.  

If you see Kobe, please contact the State Police at (845) 677-7300. For safety reasons, do not approach Kobe.

Leavitt gives the following message to someone who might spot him: “If they come across him just please contact either me or Wes Powell and don't approach him cause he's going to run and that's going to make it harder for us to get him.”

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