More than 150 crocodiles, caimans, and alligators were found inside a Toronto home. The reptiles were rescued by volunteers from the Indian River Reptile Zoo over the course of four days. The large exotic pets were all reportedly adults and measured in between four to 11 feet long.
The Indian River Reptile Zoo volunteers used four 26-foot-long trucks to rescue and relocate the more than 150 crocodiles, alligators, and caimans. The shortest of the reptiles was reportedly at least over three feet long, and the longest of the creatures was almost 10 feet long.
“Interestingly enough, this individual phoned our rescue and told us he could no longer take care of the 150 crocodiles, alligators and caimans,” Zoo official Bry Loyst said during an interview with ABC News. “I didn’t really believe it, but when I went over there, sure enough, it was true. He did the wrong thing by buying these crocodiles, he did the idiotic thing by buying 150 of them, but he did the right thing by donating the money and animals to a proper place that can care for them. They’re fairly healthy. We’re really impressed.”
The Toronto man kept the 150 crocodiles, caimans, and alligators for more than 10 years. The reptiles were reportedly kept in aquariums, which they had outgrown in a large garage. According to Loyst, the animals were all in “fairly good health” but added that some had lost muscle tone because they had lived in a such a confined space for so long.
Fortunately for the rescued reptiles, the zoo recently opened a new $1 million crocodile rescue building. The aquarium-style enclosure boasts over 100,000 gallons of water held in multiple swimming areas. The name of the man who kept the 150 reptiles has not been released to the public.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Loyst told CBC News. “I could not believe that somebody had that many crocodilians and raised them to adulthood. These were not baby little crocodiles. They were adults.”
According to the Indian River Reptile Zoo, the former exotic pet owner donated a “generous amount” to the facility to care for the cold-blooded creatures. The zoo is reportedly the only non-profit reptile rescue in North America.
It is illegal to own crocodilia in the Canadian city. After being issued the maximum penalty for keeping the reptiles, $5,000, the man made the decision to relocate them to the rescue.
[Image via: Shutterstock.com]