150 crocodiles, gators, and caimans have been rescued from a Toronto man who kept the reptiles as his pets.
According to the Toronto Star, the couple, who had been keeping the reptiles for “years and years and years,” forfeited their pets to the Indian River Reptile Zoo last weekend. The zoo, along with a small group of volunteers, then went to the home, where they had to wrestle, muzzle, and remove over 150 crocodiles, alligators, and caimans.
“It’s nuts,” Bry Loyst said, noting that this rescue could be the biggest of its kind in Canada, according to the New York Daily News. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” He also said that the zoo was still seeking volunteers to help unload the reptiles into their new safe homes, days after their rescue.
While the owners had been keeping the illegal animals as pets for years, they finally realized that they needed help and more space for their beloved pets, and decided to contact the zoo.
— ABC News (@ABC) August 14, 2015
“Interestingly enough, this individual phoned our rescue and told us he could no longer take care of the 150 crocodiles, alligators and caimans,” Loyst told ABC News. “I didn’t really believe it, but when I went over there, sure enough, it was true.” “I think [the owners] just realized that enough is enough, and they need a larger place,” Loyst said. “Kudos to them. A lot of people don’t do the right thing with exotic pets, and they actually did.”
Despite their previous living conditions, and small quarters to roam, the animals seemed to be in overall good health, according to Loyst.
“The individual that looked after them did a really good job considering the situation and the housing,” Loyst said. “Most of the animals are in great health. They don’t have much muscle tone, obviously, because they can’t move much, but they’re fairly healthy. We’re really impressed.”
Canadian man learns it’s a bad idea to keep 150 crocodiles, gators, and lizards as pets http://t.co/HAUMlw9aF7 pic.twitter.com/t3lfpDipdT
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) August 14, 2015
All 150 crocodiles, alligators, and caimans were adults, and ranged in size from four feet to 11 feet in length.
“I could not believe that somebody had that many crocodilians and raised them to adulthood. These were not baby little crocodiles. They were adults.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 14, 2015
Many of the animals will be living in the recently added $1 million crocodile rescue building, which has over 100,000 gallons of water held in multiple pools.
[Photo via Shutterstock]