SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY — Alligators are not native to New York, but a Long Island rescue agency is caring for one after the animal was surrendered to them.
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The 9-year-old alligator, named Zachary, is 5 feet long, and its owner surrendered it to the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, WNBC reported.
Suffolk County SPCA chief Roy Gross told WABC that the owner had purchased the alligator in a different state, and did not have a permit to legally own the animal in New York.
“When we gave them the choice of either turning (the alligator) in, and facing civil penalties, or having us to get a search warrant and facing criminal charges — they made the phone call and said, ‘we have your alligator come get it ,” Capt. Tom Gadomski with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation told WABC.
“Alligators do not make good pets, are a danger to the public, and are illegal to own without a permit,” Gross said to WNBC. “These are very, very dangerous animals. They can inflict serious injuries or even death. … I can’t imagine anybody sitting on a couch with an alligator curled up on their lap. It doesn’t make sense.”
Gross told WPIX that in one year alone, 22 alligators were illegally dumped on Long Island.
The Suffolk County SPCA told WNBC that Zachary will be sent to a licensed wildlife sanctuary.
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