We now know the identity of the person who left an adult alligator abandoned in New Jersey. According to new reports, the person who left the three-foot-long reptile to fend for itself was the same person who called authorities to report the incident.
Before, law enforcement got a call on Jan. 15 that someone had left an alligator in a plastic storage container in an environment in “below-freezing temperatures in Neptune, New Jersey.
At the time, Asbury Park resident Angel Rosario reportedly called a local police department to report he saw a storage container left in an empty lot.
Later, on Jan. 19, the Monmouth County SPCA announced that Rosario and his family were behind the heinous act.
“When Rosario’s parents refused to allow him to keep the 3-foot-long reptile, they collectively staged the abandonment and called the Neptune Township Police Department posing as good Samaritans,” the organization wrote in a Facebook post.
“We know now that at no point surrounding these circumstances was the alligator left in a dangerous or life-threatening situation.”
Multiple parties charged for inhumane treatment of alligator, falsifying information to the police
According to MCSPCA Humane Law Enforcement, before leaving the alligator behind, the family purchased the animal from Rosario’s friend, Savion Mendez, who bought the reptile from a wild animal expo in Pennsylvania.
Then, Mendez kept the alligator in a 150-gallon tank but could not continue to house it after he got evicted from two apartments. As a result, Rosario offered to take the gator, and Mendez agreed.
The MCSPCA added that it rescued the alligator after investigating its point of origin and subsequent movements from anonymous tips.
“We’d like to thank our Humane Law Enforcement Division who works in conjunction with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office for investigating this case promptly and professionally,” said Ross Licitra, executive director of the Monmouth County SPCA, in an official statement.
She added: “We’re also grateful for the assistance of the public, who gave us key information bringing us to the conclusion of this case.”
Now, Mendez faces charges from the New Jersey Department of Fish & Wildlife for breaking the state’s prohibition on keeping dangerous exotic species as pets.
In addition, Rosario and his parents also face charges for being dishonest in a police report, according to the MCSPCA.
The New Jersey Department of Fish & Wildlife will also have regulatory charges brought on Mendez for violating the state’s prohibition on keeping dangerous exotic species as a pet, the MCSPCA noted.
Since authorities discovered the abandoned gator, they’ve placed the juvenile animal in the Cape May County Park & Zoo in Cape May Court House, New Jersey.