Gator sightings reported in Barrow Co. pond

STATHAM (AP) -- Police and residents in the northeast Georgia town of Statham say an alligator has been living in a local pond, making for an unusual situation so far north of where the reptiles typically roam.

Police officer Allan Johnston says that he saw the gator in the pond on Saturday. He and resident Jim Verschraegen say the gator appears to be around 6 feet long.

Alligators have been found in the Chattahoochee River and in Lake Lanier, but sightings so far north are rare. Officials from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources say they suspect that someone kept the alligator as a pet and then dumped it in the pond.

Statham is about 12 miles west of Athens.