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Small gator not doing any harm in Lanier, DNR says
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LAKE LANIER -- Reports of a 2.5-foot alligator on the Chattahoochee River portion of Lake Lanier near Don Carter State Park have drawn plenty of attention, but the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said there isn’t any cause for alarm yet.

“It’s very small. It’s not doing any harm,” said Kevin Lowrey, a DNR wildlife biologist. “We’re aware of it, kind of monitoring it to see if it becomes more of a nuisance.”

Lowrey’s advice for anyone who comes across the gator is to not feed, harass or try to catch it.

He said it’s probably an aquarium alligator, a pet that someone got tired of and released.

While Florida is more widely known for its alligator population, Lowrey said there are “plenty of alligators in Georgia,” mainly in reservoirs hotter than Lake Lanier. He said a gator in this area is “pretty uncommon.”

The colder winters in Georgia make it harder for alligators to survive here, according to Lowrey, though some larger ones are able to burrow and survive the colder months. The one spotted on Lake Lanier doesn’t meet that criteria.