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Pet alligator gets loose aboard airliner

Reptile recaptured in cargo hold without incident

An alligator like the one shown here escaped from its crate aboard an American Airlines flight but never left the cargo hold.
An alligator like the one shown here escaped from its crate aboard an American Airlines flight but never left the cargo hold.

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NEWARK, New Jersey (CNN) -- An alligator on its way from Miami, Florida, to Newark on an American Airlines jet escaped from its crate in flight but was recaptured on landing, a spokesman for the airline said Monday.

American Airlines Flight 776 was carrying four alligators, which belonged to passengers aboard the plane.

"They were in the cargo hold in burlap sacks with their snouts bound properly and in their crates," Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American Airlines, told CNN.

Wagner said upon arrival at Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the alligators was found out of its crate, but still in a burlap sack with its snout bound.

Port Authority police officers responded and were able to wrangle the loose animal with a "loop or lariat" device and return it to its crate, a Port Authority spokesman said.

The officers and animals were not injured.


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