Lakeland woman fights to keep her pet alligator

A woman in Florida is dressing up her pet alligator for Christmas (KTRK)
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Catching a baby alligator from the wild is illegal without permits; it is also incredibly foolish. Like many other crocodilians, female alligators are good parents who vigilantly guard their offspring. Further, wild caught reptiles are typically stricken with pathogens and parasites. These infections and infestations often become markedly worse during the process of capture and acclimation. If you decide that an alligator is the right pet for you, obtain a captive bred hatchling from a reputable breeder.
Mary Thorn has raised her pet alligator just like someone would raise any other pet.
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My 19-year old son purchased an alligator through an online pet company…We’ve been doing our best to keep it healthy and happy. As it continues to grow, I’m afraid we will no longer have the resources to care for it. A Lakeland woman is fighting to keep her 6-foot-long pet alligator in her home.
Photo provided by FlickrSo the best thing to do is leave alligators be, and keep your pets on a leash.
Photo provided by FlickrFlorida woman fights to keep pet alligator, ATV-riding 'Rambo' at home
Photo provided by Flickr
Jackie is definitely not your average pet. Jackie is a pet alligator. Really. And, she shares a very unique and unexpected bond with her owner, Randy Thomas and his wife Veronica.Veronica said the couple purchased what they thought was a baby caiman – a smaller relative of the alligator – from a pet show. But when Jackie kept growing and growing, they learned within a year that she was actually an American alligator. They asked a zoo to take Jackie, she said, but the zoo refused. And here they are now.Although some neighbors complained about his pet alligator, they can’t do much about it because under Pennsylvania state law, owning a pet alligator is totally legal.Van Buren told the Miami Herald that , searched his property and told him the alligator, who Van Buren has kept as a pet for 47 years, was illegal.

According to the Herald, Van Buren “cried and begged and pleaded” for a baby gator while on vacation in Florida at the age of 9 and then flew the tiny creature home to New York in the pocket of his baseball jacket.Mary Thorn, the lady who was going to have to give up her pet alligator named Rambo can keep her beloved cold-blooded four-wheel-riding friend. She just can’t take him to show him off at charity events any more."I don't believe alligators should be pets. In my shows, I preach that," the former alligator farm worker said. "The only reason I have Rambo is because he's a rescue."Gwendolyn isn’t the first pet gator who’s run into trouble because of his size. Rambo, a pet gator belonging to Mary Thorn, encountered problems when wildlife officials said the reptile had grown too large to stay indoors. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife officials, a six-feet-long pet alligator is required by law to have 2.5 acres of land at its disposal, the Because the trade in baby alligators is largely black market, official stats are difficult to come by. But anecdotally, the numbers of rescued alligators fall somewhere between the levels of “way less than cats and dogs” and “holy crap, I can’t believe there are that many alligators out there.” For example, in the past four years, Russ Johnson, president of the Phoenix Herpetological Society, an Arizona-based nonprofit involved in education and preservation efforts around reptiles, has recovered over 80 alligators in his state alone.