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story.lead_photo.caption A Hockatown Petting Zoo handler holds Petrie. The alligator with the distinctive overbite recently was stolen from the zoo. (Submitted photo)

An Oklahoma game warden is asking for the public's assistance in finding an alligator stolen from the Hochatown Petting Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Center early Saturday.

Petrie the alligator was left on the center's doorstep in a box about three years ago.

He was born with a lower jaw malformation and is easily recognizable, according to a news release from Oklahoma Game Wardens. Petrie is about 3 feet long.

Staff have been rehabilitating Petrie and wanted to release him in the fall.

Staff at the wildlife center reported hearing two people talking on the grounds about 1:45 a.m. Saturday but did not see anyone.

Petrie was discovered missing later during a routine check.

Possession of an alligator is against the law and could come with a minimum of a $1,000 fine.

Anyone with any information on Petrie is asked to call Game Warden Mark Hannah at 580-513-451 or Operation Game Thief at 1-800-522-8039.

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