Alligator seen in Ballard County, Kentucky

Chris Drummond took this photo of the alligator on Friday.

BALLARD COUNTY, KY — Deep in Ballard County, Kentucky, on private land, the Drummonds usually use their land for duck hunting. Now, they have their eyes out for something much more unusual — an alligator.

“It’s one of those things you look down and you don’t believe your own eyes,” Chris Drummond said. “I’ve been roaming around down here for for some time and never seen anything quite like that.”

Chris and his grandson Wyatt are used to the wildlife that live in the swamps. “We were looking for snakes, weren’t we,” he said.

They were heading back from the blind when they saw an alligator. With 5 million alligators in America, one found it’s way to west Kentucky.

Chris has the proof on his phone. “I really thought someone was playing a trick on me. I pulled up to about here, and he raised his head up. That’s when I took the second picture. We backed out real slow trying not to disturb him.”

They last saw the four-foot gator on Friday. Now, with his Nerf gun in hand, Wyatt is on the hunt to find the gator again.

Raw meat hangs over the swamp as bait for the gator.

“I was going to shoot it in its mouth,” Wyatt said.

Sgt. Tony Dunker with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says it’s rare, but this has happened before.

People are guessing how it got here — some suggesting the gator could have been a pet.

“We’re a long way from anywhere, as you saw when you rode in here. We are about a mile from the Ohio River, probably about 4 or 5 miles from the Mississippi River,” Chris said. “Department of Fish and Wildlife seem to think he may have hitchhiked up on here on a barge.”

Wyatt walks around with his toy gun looking for the gator.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife set up baits with raw meat hanging over the water. The meat is hiding a large hook that should catch the gator.

“They’ve been here for a couple of days. No luck yet,” Chris said.

He says the water is warmer and deeper over where the bait is. Fish and Wildlife Management thinks the gator will stay in this area because of that. Chris is worried about his family’s dog and Wyatt running around while the gator is somewhere in the swamp.

“They said it could be laying anywhere staring at us,” Wyatt said.

Local 6 didn’t see the alligator when we went out to the land. If they don’t catch it soon, the alligator could die in the cold.

Ballard County Wildlife Management says hunting an alligator in Kentucky would be illegal, because alligators are not considered a game species in Kentucky, so regulations have not been made.

For more on this story, like Leah Shields on Facebook.

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