LOS ANGELES, California -- "Reggie" the alligator resurfaced in Los Angeles on Monday, more than a year after the elusive reptile who became a local celebrity was last seen, officials said.
The six-foot long alligator was spotted swimming in a lake in the Harbor City neighborhood, 18 months after his last appearance in October 2005.
"We have a live alligator in a public lake," said Los Angeles city councillor Janice Hahn, adding that fencing would soon be erected around the lake to keep people away from the water.
"I want to keep everybody safe. And then we'll have to find the right gator wrangler."
Local authorities had enlisted the help of late Australian crocodile hunter Steve Irwin to help snare the reptile, before he was killed in a freak diving accident last year.
Reggie's lengthy disappearance from the public eye led officials to believe that he had died or moved to a nearby flood control channel.
Alligators are not native to California. Reggie was believed to have been dumped into the lake by two men when he became too big for a garden pond.
One of the men pleaded no contest to a violation of the state Fish and Game Code for releasing the alligator and was sentenced to three years probation.
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