Hunt is on in Jonesboro for alligator

A professional reptile rescuer is on the lookout for an alligator spotted near a private Jonesboro lake.

Jason Clark, the owner of Orchard Hill-based Southeastern Reptile Rescue, said he spotted the reptile earlier this week at a private lake just off Hastings Way, near Mundy’s Mill High School.

"We did see the alligator Thursday. We actually watched it for 20 to 30 minutes," Clark told Saturday.  He said the reptile then went to the bottom of the lake. Clark said he and his wife tried to find the reptile during the night from a boat but were unsuccessful.

Clark said the alligator is probably frightened and may even leave the area, which is several miles from the Flint River.

Billy Mitchell said he  saw the alligator from his yard, which backs up to the lake.

“It was in the water, like five, to six feet away from the shore," Mitchell told the Clayton Daily News. "It had been watching me, and I just happened to see it. I was kind of surprised, because you don’t normally hear about alligators being in this area, but there it was.”

Clark said he'll ask the homeowner to keep a record of sightings so he can determine a pattern of when the reptile appears. He'll then stake out the lake again to try to catch it. The  reptile rescuer says the alligators generally don't pose any danger unless someone tries to feed them or get too close.

Earlier this week, a 6-foot alligator captured in the Lake Lanier region had to be put down by state authorities.  Neighbors spotted the alligator living in a pond near White Sulphur, in northern Hall County, northeast of Gainesville.

DNR spokeswoman Robin Hill said wildlife biologists euthanized the alligator according to the agency's policy because she said there was no nearby natural area to relocate the animal.

Associated Press contributed to this report