LOWELL, Mass. — It turns out that the “canaligator” is more than just a mascot for the Lowell Spinners minor league baseball team.

A Lowell man and his twin 7-year-old daughters spotted a real alligator swimming in a city canal on Saturday night.

Calvin Thomas said he called police, who at first thought he was joking.

The Sun of Lowell reports that Animal Control Officer Robert Pickard caught the roughly two-foot-long juvenile reptile with a net and put it in a cage for safety. The alligator appeared to be unharmed.

The little gator was turned over to a tropical animal expert in Beverly.

It’s unclear how the alligator got into the canal, but authorities think it was a pet that was let loose when it got too big.