DESERT HOT SPRINGS ( — A three-foot alligator was discovered Monday after getting stuck between a chain link fence and a wood fence, just a few blocks away from an elementary school, authorities said.

The alligator, identified as a juvenile American alligator, was removed from a home at about 3 p.m. in the 66600 block of Estrella Avenue by Riverside County Animal Services Officer James Huffman, spokesman John Welsh said.  It is illegal to own such a reptile as a pet in California, he said.

The 1-year-old beagle, named Lincoln Razz, barked loudly to notify his owner, 29-year-old Daizy Maldonado.

(credit: Daizy and Emilia Maldonado)

(credit: Daizy and Emilia Maldonado)

The home where the alligator was found is just a few blocks away from Cabot Yerxa Elementary School.

The gator has been taken to Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms.

American alligators are more commonly found in the Southeastern United States and is the official state reptile of three states in that region – Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The alligator caught Monday wasn’t the first to be found in Riverside County. Another three-foot alligator was discovered in a backyard pool in Cathedral City in 2007, Welsh said.