LEXINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wildlife officials had to euthanize an alligator found swimming in High Rock Lake in Davidson County near Lexington, according to WGHP.
The juvenile alligator was 2.5 feet long and spotted near family homes along Abbot's Creek.
Since alligators are not native to that part of the state, wildlife officials speculate it was placed in the lake intentionally.
The gator didn't harm anyone before it was captured, but authorities believe it had the potential to do so. They also said the animal could be carrying diseases.
Photos of the gator blew up on social media.
Alligator intentionally put in North Carolina lake near homes, officials say