Approximately 150 crocodiles in a home were rescued after a Toronto couple kept them in various places. City officials are furious and want answers.
The Toronto Sun reports that the 150 reptiles, which included crocodiles and alligators, were rescued due to “outgrowing their enclosures.” What’s known so far about the living conditions of the creatures is that they were kept in an “industrial/residential” area garage, Indian River Reptile Zoo curator Bry Loyst reveals.
Councillor Jim Karygiannis, vice chairman of the city’s licensing and standards committee, isn’t pleased about the discovery.
“Somebody better get off their chair and make sure that our citizens are safe. I am not pleased, I am not happy… and I’m not comfortable with this.”
Loyst says that a man contacted the zoo several months ago to report that the 150 crocodiles in the home were outgrowing their enclosures. He says that they range from four to 11 feet in length.
According to the report, it took over 20 volunteers and four days to rescue the reptiles. It’s “the largest ever crocodilian rescue in North America,” Loyst said.
Despite the unusual circumstances, the crocs were said to be in good health.
The exact location of the crocodiles and alligators has not been disclosed. Carl Bandow, a supervisor with Toronto Animal Services, says that since city staff don’t know where the animals were kept, and they’re unable to do a follow-up.
“Because we don’t know where they came from, there really isn’t much more we can do in terms of a followup unless somebody is able to provide us with a location.”
Crocodiles, alligators, and caimans are banned under Toronto’s prohibited animals bylaw. The former owners could be looking at legal action and a maximum fine of $5,000.
If there’s no complaint or address of the 150 crocodiles in their old home, Bandow said it’s possible there won’t even be an investigation.
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker sees the situation as “the Noah’s Ark for crocodiles and alligators,” and the “inhumane” storage of the crocodilians could have been dangerous for the owners and the neighbors.
“I am just shocked that any human being in the city of Toronto would be crazy enough and/or stupid enough to pack 150 crocodiles and alligators into one (property).”
According to the Washington Post, the zoo that rescued the 150 crocodiles is located about 100 miles east of Toronto. Loyst says that the couple who gave up the crocodiles also handed over a large sum of money. The funds will be used to expand the crocodile sanctuary at the zoo.
Loyst told CBC News that the man who called about the 150 crocodiles in the home a few months ago did the right thing.
“He did a lot of wrong things, but kudos to him. He did the right thing by giving [the animals] a better place.”
[Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images]