Jun 17, 2013 4:59 PM by Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - A northwest Phoenix homeowner who thought a big lizard was lying under the waterfall of a lawn sprinkler got a big surprise. It turned out to be a 2-foot-long alligator.
The Phoenix Herpetological Society rescued the alligator Saturday night.
PHS officials say it probably was someone's pet and when it got too big, it was released it into a lake or canal.
Alligators are natives of Florida and the Gulf Coast states, but experts say they can survive in Arizona's desert climate.
Even though alligator ownership is illegal in Arizona, PHS officials say they find two or three every month in Phoenix-area homes.
They say the largest alligator ever found in Arizona is also at PHS. He's a nearly 500 pounder pulled out of a pond near the Grand Canyon.