GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) – A 1,000-pound alligator that slipped away from a small coastal zoo amid flooding during Hurricane Ivan was found in a ditch and returned to his handlers.

The 14-foot long gator named Chucky drew wide notice when he turned fugitive from the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo after the hurricane pounded the coast last Thursday. Volunteers helped track down the 14-foot reptile late Tuesday night – about 300 yards from the pond he escaped, but still on the zoo property.

It took half a dozen people, including police and state troopers, to haul Chucky out of the ditch and take him to his new temporary home – in a bear’s den – while his pond is repaired.

AP-ES-09-22-04 1511EDT

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