A pet alligator is now in the hands of authorities after the reptile was rescued from a tiny storage container in Washington this week.
According to WFLA, the alligator was rescued near Tacoma, Washington. The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office stated that the area’s animal control received multiple complaints from a neighbor about the reptile. It is notably illegal to keep alligators as pets in the Evergreen State.
Authorities also revealed that they discovered the reptile in a small tub inside a shipping container. It was further reported that the creature shared the container with a small, sickly baby cow as well as a mattress that the animals’ 32-year-old owner slept on. After discovering the two animals, the police returned the next day with a warrant. They seized the alligator and checked on the calf.
Deputies further revealed that when they returned to the shipping container, the cow and owner were gone. However, the alligator, which has been nicknamed “Al,” was still in the tub. Animal Control managed to get the animal out and authorities were able to tape its mouth shut. It was later taken to the Tacoma Humane Society. It will be moved to a wildlife sanctuary eventually.
“The gator was in good health, but now will get to spend its time in a large habitat rather than a tiny storage container,” the sheriff’s office reported. “None of our deputies knew what they would be seeing that day, but you can bet they will have stories to tell for a lifetime about this encounter.”
Komo News further reports that it was believed that the alligator, which was nearly seven feet long, had been living in the area since at least 2017.
Residents Near the Container Were Stunned When the Alligator Was Discovered
While speaking to Komo News, Joan Nix, who lives on the same street where the alligator was discovered, was stunned to hear about the reptile being in the area.
“I was very shocked to hear there was an alligator in the neighborhood,” she explained. “It kind of worried me because I have a foal that could have gotten eaten.”
Nix then told the media outlet that she couldn’t help but think of the what-ifs. She did however say that she didn’t see or hear the alligator while it was cohabitating in the same neighborhood. Her family had moved into the area less than two years ago.
“It’s putting people at risk, pets at risk,” she went on to add. “It’s pretty scary. They’re illegal for a reason. That’s a little worrying. I wonder what else is running around out here.”
Along with alligators, Washington forbids other wildlife to be kept as pets within the state. This includes mongoose, wild boars, wild sheep, crocodiles, rattlesnakes, and cobras.