A photo of an alligator has been circulating on Facebook for the last three days after a woman in Elk Grove posted it to her page.
On April 12, Karen Miller Keeslar of Elk Grove wrote, “I think an alligator is swimming in the lake in my neighborhood park.”
However, alligators are not native to California, and while doing more research, ABC10 found a video on Shutterstock that identically matches the photo Keeslar posted.
Keeslar has not responded to our requests for an interview.
On Sunday, dozens of people were walking around the lake in Camden Park trying to catch a glimpse of the supposed alligator.
Rumors swirled around the neighborhood that the alligator was a pet that escaped. Another rumor circulating was that it was a pet alligator that grew too large and was dumped by its owner.
"It's all over the internet and Nextdoor Neighbor, everybody's jazzed,” said Jeremy Ansel, a Camden Park resident. “The people that don't usually come down to the lake are coming down to the lake now."
Convinced that the alligator is real, Ansel brought his three daughters and wife to the park to search for it.
Elk Grove Police Department spokesperson Jason Jimenez said animal control is aware of the reports. Officials surveyed the lake on Friday, but they did not see a creature and contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).
As of the late afternoon on Sunday, the entire lake was taped off with warning notices from the CDFW.
A CDFW representative was not immediately available for comment.