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A rare alligator has been found alive inside a dustbin in China. The Yangtze Alligator or Chinese Alligator is thought to have been dumped by smugglers, or possibly escaped from a wildlife park.
A rare species of alligator has been found in a dustbin in China, according to state broadcaster CCTV.
Police said the Yangtze alligator, which is a protected species in China, was spotted by a local woman on Tuesday morning whilst searching through the contents of the bin in Chongqing, Shizhu County.
Surprised locals called the police who removed the rare creature and took it to the police station.
Local authorities said the reptile has been put behind bars until it can be handed over to local forestry authorities.
Policemen believe the alligator had either escaped from an aquarium or been lost by illegal wildlife smugglers.
Yangtze Alligator (Chinese Alligator)
The Chinese alligator is listed as a CITES Appendix I species, which puts extreme restrictions on its trade and exportation throughout the world. It is IUCN Red Listed as a critically endangered species. Efforts are underway to reintroduce captive-bred animals to suitable wild habitats, but thus far have not met with much success.
Chinese alligators are quite prolific in captivity, with estimates of the total captive population at over 10,000 animals, mostly in the Anhui Research Centre of Chinese Alligator Reproduction and the Madras Crocodile Bank, as well as in numerous zoos, including the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park which has successfully bred the Chinese alligator and has been fortunate enough to release some of the offspring back into the wild in China.