HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Early Wednesday morning, Huntsville police responded to a home located on Azealia Road for reports of a loose alligator in someone's backyard.When police arrived, they found the foot-and-a-half alligator very upset and on the loose. The homeowner said he went outside for a smoke when he saw the gator by his dog's food.
Animal Control responded and picked up the alligator.
The investigation is underway to find out where the alligator came from. What's not known is whether it was someone's escaped pet.
State laws prohibit owning alligators and similar animals as pets.
Weston Whitt owns the Gator Gambler exhibit and gift store in Ardmore. They have 18 alligators, mostly rescued.
Whitt, who is allowed to own alligators because he is a licensed alligator exhibitor, says that owning gators without a license can bring serious charges.
"They're a regulated animal. And any regulated animal you cannot keep in your home and possess as a pet," says Whitt. "It actually can become a felony if you've got so many."
The Gator Gambler warns that if you keep an alligator, if the gator doesn't get you, the law has teeth that can be hazardous, too.
"I would have to say common sense tells you it's illegal because they're dangerous."
Click here for more information about state laws on reptiles and amphibians and for more information on the Gator Gambler.