An American alligator has been found wandering around a scout camp on the Australian south coast, leaving wildlife experts baffled as to how it arrived there.
The 5ft reptile was caught when holidaymakers trapped him in a volleyball net and held its jaws shut with gaffer-tape after it had been spotted stalking the campsite in Pambula, New South Wales.
Police were called to the scene at the Noonameena scout camp and found a group of people holding down the reptile.
Police initially assumed they had a saltwater crocodile, a native of Australia's tropical north, but animal experts later discovered it was an alligator belonging to a species native to the south-eastern U.S.
Wildlife officials in Australia are investigating how an alligator native to North America was found wandering around a campsite in New South Wales
Alligators tend to live in freshwater and have wide u-shaped snouts, where as crocodiles are usually found in saltwater. They have longer, pointy snouts.
Hans Rasker, who helped to subdue the alligator, told ABC News in Australia: 'He decided he was heading for the bush so we grabbed a volleyball net and tried to put that on him until police arrived.
'That didn't work so we ended up just lying on top of him and holding him down. We gaffer-taped his mouth and tied him up.'
Campers at the site in Pambula managed to snare the beast in a volleyball net and hold its jaws shut
Police said checks have revealed that no one was licensed to keep either a crocodile or an alligator in the area and said they were still investigating where the alligator came from.
John Dengate, National Parks and Wildlife Service spokesman said: 'We don't know where it came from but it's likely it's an escaped pet.
'The fact it's an alligator is more intriguing because it's rather more difficult to get your hands on an alligator in Australia than a croc.'
No scouts were at the site when the alligator was discovered.
American alligator found in Australia leaves experts baffled | Mail Online