Imagine coming across an alligator while enjoying a bike ride through the Brainerd Lakes Area. That’s what happened when one man was riding his bike about 5 miles southwest of Brainerd Saturday afternoon.

“This is the first time we’ve received a call about an alligator,” said Lt. Joe Meyer with the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office. “It created some anxiety with the deputies. Nobody was volunteering to grab it, that’s for sure.”

The owner of Safari North Wildlife Park south of Brainerd was called in to capture the 3-foot alligator, which exhibited some aggression, Meyer said. With its snout taped shut, three Crow Wing County sheriff’s deputies posed for a selfie with the reptile before turning it over to the wildlife park, where it now resides.

Meyer said the Sheriff’s Office believes the alligator was someone’s pet that either escaped or was released illegally.