Police in Ohio said they confiscated a 3-foot-long alligator spotted wandering a neighborhood after it escaped from its owner's yard.

Dayton police said the reptile, appropriately named Gator, escaped from the back yard of its owner Monday night and neighbors called police after spotting it walking down the sidewalk on Rawlings Drive, the Dayton Daily News reported Tuesday.

Tim Harrison, a former Oakwood police officer and director of Outreach for Animals, was called in to capture the animal. He said the owner had taken the reptile in after discovering its previous owner had been keeping it in a box. He said the man was unaware of city ordinances banning exotic pets.

"He heard on the news that Gov. [John] Kasich had dropped the laws, but those are state laws," Harrison said. "His heart was in the right place but he just didn't know the law."