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updated 6/2/2011 11:51:43 AM ET 2011-06-02T15:51:43

When an alligator was spotted near a suburban Kansas City pond, local police decided they were taking no chances: They would shoot the fearsome creature from a distance with a rifle.

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But the alligator took the first shot to the head without batting an eyelid, and then the second one bounced off.

At that point, the officers realized the animal was not a bulletproof beast; rather, it was just a concrete lawn ornament, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Independence police spokesman Tom Gentry said the department became involved after receiving a call from a man who reported seeing a gator.

It was among some weeds near a tree and, according to Gentry, it appeared to be the real thing.

After it was discovered to be a harmless lawn ornament, a landowner explained that he put it there to keep children off his property, Gentry told the AP.

This isn't the only time in recent months that a fake animal drew the attention of local law enforcement.

In England last month, reports of a white tiger in a field prompted a police alert.

A cricket match was interrupted, golfers were escorted from a course in the area and the police drafted in zoo staff with tranquilizer guns, following the sighting at Hedge End in Hampshire, BBC News reported.

A police helicopter from another county was also sent to investigate.

However, a Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman told the BBC that it became "obvious it was a stuffed life-size toy" when the downdraft from the chopper blew the "tiger" over.

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