WILSON, N.Y. -- His friend sent him a picture, but Ken Champion says he didn't believe it. There was no way there was an alligator in the creek near his Wilson home. But just in case, he decided to go out and look for it.
"If it was out there I wanted to catch it," said Champion.
Champion went to the creek on Sunday and saw what looked like an alligator in the woods. The only problem? He had no net to catch it, and the alligator was quickly scared away.
"I was getting irritated for sure because I wanted to catch it, especially after seeing it," said Champion.
For several hours he looked and saw nothing, but he kept at it.
"I was poking in the crick with a stick, and finally I seen him move and he just sat there and I was able to grab him with the stick," said Champion.
The second time around, Champion's cousin Bill Banagis came out with a net. The two worked together to tape the alligators mouth shut and try not to get bitten.
"He had like a 90 degree on his mouth,” said Champion. “So I kind of just put my foot on his mouth and inched my fingers to grab it."
"It was edgy. You can hear him breathing,” said Banagis. “Yea, I definitely didn't feel too comfortable."
Banagis says he was surprised to see an alligator in Western New York, but not surprised his cousin caught it.
"He heard about the alligator. He had his mind set he was going to get it and I figured it it’s was out here that he would,” said Banagis. “Kenny's always been determined like that."
Champion has his own theory on how it got here.
"I honestly think it must have been someone's pet and they let it go. I don't think they could survive here."
Champion said he will now turn the alligator over to the Department of Environmental Conservation, but not before he and his friends get plenty of pictures.