An alligator at lake in Garner?

A bird sits on top of a cone in the middle of Lake Benson.
A bird sits on top of a cone in the middle of Lake Benson. jalexander@newsobserver.com

There have been at least four reports of people seeing an alligator roaming Lake Benson in the past four months.

A notice was posted at Lake Benson’s boating dock in May, warning those using Lake Benson that an alligator had been spotted around the island, and asking them to be mindful as they fish or use the park.

According to the town, in May, a homeowner on the lake believed he saw an alligator go from his land into the water.

A boathouse operator also claimed to have seen something he thought was a log, go under water. Around the same time, two fisherman came in and said the same.

Then in July, a fisherman out on the lake said he thought he saw an alligator as well.

Alligators are not known to be as far inland as Garner.

According to one reported sighting, the alligator was four feet long. It could be a pet that was released, town spokesman Rick Mercier said, but the reports have not been confirmed.

The town has been in contact with Raleigh Utilities, who runs the lake.

“No one with the expertise has gone out there and positively identified the alligator,” Mercier said. “Whether this is truly an alligator, log or snapping turtle, we are erring on the side of caution and letting them know reports have come in.”

Mercier said the town will update the notices.

Officials at N.C. Wildlife said they had not been aware of any reports about alligators at Lake Benson this year.

The town asks that if someone spots the alligator again contact N.C. Wildlife at 919-707-0040.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @GarnerCleveland