Dead Alligator Found Near Hotchkiss Colorado

Dead Alligator Found Near Hotchkiss Colorado; DOW Seeks Information

Colorado Division of Wildlife
Colorado Division of Wildlife

Hotchkiss, Colorado – -( Following the discovery of a dead alligator in an irrigation ditch near Hotchkiss, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is offering a reminder to residents that exotic animals can cause serious environmental damage when brought to an area where they are not native.

It is illegal to import wildlife without a state permit, and it is illegal to release any non-native species into the Colorado environment. That includes even small animals, such as non-native frogs, any type of fish, snakes, birds, mammals, etc.

“Animals from different parts of the country or the world can carry diseases that could devastate native wildlife species,” said Doug Homan, a district wildlife manager in Hotchkiss. “An invasive species also could be a predator that Colorado wildlife cannot defend themselves against.”

The 4-foot-long dead alligator was found by a ditch rider July 14 about four miles northeast of Hotchkiss next to the North Fork Lateral irrigation canal. Homan believes the animal was released by someone when it was alive.

“An alligator is not suited to Colorado’s climate and cold water. This was a very irresponsible action. An alligator is a predator and could have eaten other animals, pets or even attacked a person,” Homan said.

To dispose of an exotic species, call your local county’s animal control office, a veterinarian or contact a DOW office.

Anyone who has information about the alligator is asked to contact Homan at (970)275-4276, or Kirk Madariaga, at (970)527-4419.


The Division of Wildlife manages the state’s 960 wildlife species. It regulates hunting and fishing activities by issuing licenses and enforcing regulations. The Division also manages more than 230 wildlife areas for public recreation, conducts research to improve wildlife management activities, provides technical assistance to private and other public landowners concerning wildlife and habitat management, and develops programs to protect and recover threatened and endangered species. Wildlife regulations are established by the eight-member Wildlife Commission.