Bedford — A teacher from Bedford Public Schools found an "alligator-type reptile" swimming in a pond on Thursday and paused: This wasn't Florida, it was Michigan, and the spot was just a few paces from the high school.

The reptile, which local experts identified as a caiman, was reported to have been in a pond used by Bedford Junior and Senior high school classes for academic study, school officials said in an email Thursday. The email also includes a photo of what the school district says is the caiman.

The pond, often referred to as the Biology Pond, is about 400 feet from the schools' baseball and football fields, and the track and field stadium. 

School administrators contacted authorities for help in locating and removing the approximately 3-foot-long reptile, school officials said.

Caimans are not indigenous to Michigan and often are kept as pets. The reptiles share many similar characteristics to alligators and crocodiles but are often smaller in size.

Meanwhile, at least one person embraced the idea of a caiman so close.

"That would make a good mascot," said one response on the district's Facebook page.

Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter

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