Stunned water officials discovered an ALLIGATOR basking in the sun on the side of an English lake today.
The hissing reptile – which is two feet long – was spotted clambering out of the water at Chew Valley reservoir in Somerset.
Staff at Bristol Water caught the alligator with a net before putting it in a box while waiting for a member of the RSPCA to collect it.
It is unknown how the exotic reptile, which is native to the Americas and can grow more than 11ft, ended up in rural England.
The lake where it was discovered is more than ten metres deep in places and is a popular spot for fly fishing for trout and sailing.
John Harris, fisheries and recreation officer at Bristol Water, said: “One of our project engineers was surveying the overspill at Chew Valley Lake and on inspection he saw a reptile bathing in the sun.
“We went down there and caught it and put it in the container. Its mouth was open and it was hissing but I don’t think it was dangerous.
“We’re not exactly sure what reptile it is, whether it’s a cayman, alligator or crocodile, but we think it’s an alligator.
“We’ve found terrapins in the past, but to see a reptile like this is very surprising.”
A spokesperson for Bristol Water added: “It was found at Chew Valley Lake by a project engineer.
“It was captured with a net and is currently at Woodford Lodge waiting to be collected by the RSPCA.”