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ELK GROVE  — An alligator has been spotted in an Elk Grove neighborhood lake earlier this week.

People who live in the neighborhood surrounding Camden Lake enjoy a rich variety of wildlife but it seems an unwelcome guest has taken up residence there.

Several people have reported seeing the gator over the past few days and neighbors say they have seen a decrease in the number of ducks and geese at the lake.

Courtesy of Karen Keeslar

Sharon Anderson, the Camden Neighborhood Association President, saw the alligator herself on Thursday evening and is warning her neighbors to be alert.

“Just kind of stay clear. Keep your eyes open,” said Anderson. “When we don’t see the ducks and geese in the water, maybe that’s an indication that we should be clear of it too,” she said.

While she was out walking her dog on Wednesday, Karen Keeslar spotted the alligator, she said, “I could tell it was kind of a head, about maybe a foot and a half long and that the kind of wake that came off what looked like a body was maybe three, four feet.”

Keeslar said she is a “little shook up” and worries “about people that are fishing.”

“I worry about people that have their kids right along the shore,” said Keeslar.

Though warnings have been given, some Elk Grove residents are flocking to the lake in hopes of seeing the gator.

The community service district put up tape around the northern portion of Camden Lake where the gator was spotted.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is working on the case and Anderson says they plan to capture the gator and take it to a wildlife facility.

Neighbors think the alligator was probably someone’s pet but it got too big and they released into the lake.

It is illegal to own an alligator in California without a special permit.

Despite the efforts of U.S. Department of Agriculture trappers, the alligator has not been caught.

Anderson says the alligator was seen again by several witnesses Saturday morning near the bridge over Bond Road.