A 6-foot alligator was caught near White Sulphur Road in northern Hall County and later euthanized Sunday afternoon after neighbors reported it to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
The alligator was out of its natural range in the state and "he was put there by an individual," said DNR spokeswoman Robin Hill.
"Someone probably had him as a pet and he probably got too big," she said.
Hill said the alligator was reported to be living in a pond near White Sulphur but it was uncertain how long it had been there.
The Lake Lanier region is not a natural area for alligators, Hill said, adding their habitat goes from the Macon area to the south.
DNR wildlife biologists were called to the scene and "according to DNR policy, he was euthanized" because there was no nearby natural area to relocate it, Hill said.
Hill said the DNR first catches an alligator with a snare or noose, then duct-tapes its mouth closed before shooting it in the head.
"That's not something where the animal suffers. It dies right away," she said.
Hill said she was not exactly sure where the alligator's carcass would be sent, but its skull, skin, etc., will be given to an educational facility for study.