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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A large reptile startled a woman in Lexington as she was walking her dog before it was caught by animal control officers Wednesday.

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Lexington Fayette Animal Care & Control

Police were dispatched to Roland Avenue for complaints of a large reptile in a canal shortly after 3:00 p.m. Wednesday. A Lexington Fayette Animal Control and Care officer tells LEX 18 she believes it’s a dwarf caiman.

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Kenneth Wayne Whitley

Animal control officers say they got a call from a woman who said she was walking her dog when the reptile got close to them. Officers were able to get the caiman out of the canal and it’s secure at their facility now. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife will pick it up and take it to the Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Slade.

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Lexington Fayette Animal Care & Control

Officials say the reptile appeared to be in good health. They believe someone acquired the caiman at a reptile expo and then when it became too much of a responsibility, the person set it free.

Caimans are illegal to own in Kentucky.

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