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Are there alligators or caimans in Lake Murray?

Some people believe it's an alligator, while others think it's a caiman. The two animals look very similar and some have wondered if it is a danger to the community.

LEXINGTON, S.C. — There's been chatter recently on Facebook about an animal people have seen in Lake Murray.

Some people believe it's an alligator, while others think it's a caiman. The two animals look very similar and some have wondered if it is a danger to the community.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) says it is possible for alligators to be see on the Lexington and Saluda county side of the lake.

Caimans are not from the United States. There could be the possibility someone may have put a caiman in the lake, but not very likely. Caimans are typically found through pet trade.

"It's always a good idea for any kind of wildlife just to stay clear of it," said Jay Butfilosky, with SCDNR. "I suspect this animal is not going to hang around."

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Alligators typically move around a decent amount this time of the year, according to Butfilosky.

While SCDNR has received reports about the animal, they believe it is not much of a threat. They will continue to keep an eye on it in case they need to take some sort of action.

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Butfilosky says whether it is an alligator, caiman or not, it is not something to be too concerned about. It's important to make sure you keep your distance from these animals.

"If you approach it, it's probably going to submerge and swim off," explained Butfilosky. "That's an old behavior we would expect. And typically, we're not gonna send anybody unless the particular animal becomes aggressive for some reason."