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UPDATE: DNR picks up alligator found by 9-year-old girl in Prior Lake

Updated: October 20, 2019 11:33 AM

The DNR made a visit to 9-year-old Quinlynn Lehrman Saturday to pick up the alligator she found in Prior Lake. 
 
According to the DNR, residents must have a permit to own an alligator in Minnesota. 

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The DNR will run tests to hopefully find more information about the alligator and also locate the owner. 
 
Lehrman said once she receives the alligator back, she wants to take it to a taxidermist.

5 Eyewitness News will continue to follow this story, and update it when the DNR reports the results of the tests that it is running on the alligator.


Minnesota kids catch all kinds of things at the end of a dock. Most of the time, it's a fish or maybe a turtle, but a 9-year-old girl recently pulled an alligator out of Prior Lake.

For now, where the alligator came from is a mystery.

Quinlynn Lehrman was helping her grandparents with fall cleanup on Prior Lake last weekend when she saw it on the beach.

Lehrman said she took a closer look and saw it was an alligator.

"So then I went to grab a stick and I kind of just poked it a little to see if it was dead or alive. It was actually dead," said Lehrman.

Lehrman ran to tell her grandma what she found.

Connie Peer, Lehrman's grandmother, said she came up to her and told her to call the DNR because there was an alligator on their beach.

"And I said, 'that's on our beach?' And she said, 'Yep, it's on our beach,'" said Peer.

The DNR told them to put the alligator in the freezer and they'd come pick it up.

But, here's the kicker, Peer said she actually saw the gator alive in the water the week before.

"I just saw him right over on the corner here," said Peer. "We were taking this boat lift cover off and it was kind of diagonal out from that side, and he was kind of floating right out there, and he looked like an alligator, but all we could see was the tip of his nose."

They speculate the alligator was someone's pet that either got away or was dumped in Prior Lake. They're still waiting for the DNR to follow up.

Lehrman attends Jeffers Pond Elementary in Prior Lake. Now that she has experience handling alligators she said she's going to lobby her teacher to become the junior naturalist at school.

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Kevin Doran

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