Chattanooga, TN – According to the statement, officials believe that the alligator removed by officers was a pet that had been dumped.

Three Tennessee wildlife officers recently removed an alligator from a pond located in Bradley County.

The animal was transported to a local zoo.

Officials say that there have been several confirmed sightings of alligators in Southwest Tennessee.

The agency reminds residents that alligators are a protected species and catching or shooting one is a violation of the law.

This story will be updated as new information become available.