Last Thursday, the Ohio Department of Agriculture received a tip that an alligator was dwelling in the basement of a local home. Upon investigating, police officers discovered a fully-grown American alligator living inside of a woman’s home in Groveport, Ohio, reports People Magazine.
The homeowner voluntarily gave up the alligator to the officers and wildlife officials on the scene. The article states that the alligator has since been relocated to a sanctuary in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is illegal for Ohio residents to own exotic animals with the proper license, which the woman did not have.
According to an article from CNN, the woman’s son purchased the alligator from a reptile flea market 25 years ago. It has lived in the basement ever since.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my 17 years in the department,” said Madison Township Police commander, Darrell Breneman told CNN.
The alligator was allegedly found in good health and did not require any special care or handling to transport out of the Groveport home. There is no indication that the woman or her son were ever attacked. Alligator attacks are very rare, and on the odd occasion they do occur, they are usually not fatal.
Photos attached to the People Magazine article show several photographs of the various law enforcement officials wrangling the creature. In one image, a Madison Township police officer is shown straddling the alligator from the back while another man used a bang stick or a similar device to keep it from escaping. The second photo showed another man helping them lift the alligator over a wooden barricade to remove it from the residence. An additional image depicted the alligator in a docile state before it was removed. It was seen sitting in a shallow pool of water.
“According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, it has been illegal to own, trade or sell wild animals since 2012 when then-governor John Kasich signed a bill regulating the possession of exotic creatures,” says the People Magazine piece.
The law was created after an Ohio man named Terry Thompson released a massive collection of wild animals. It is believed that several of the exotic animals were caught and sold at potentially illegal auctions.
A few months ago, The Inquisitr reported that an alligator had eaten Florida man Michael Ford II. The dangerous reptile was 12-feet-long and weighed more than 400 pounds. However, authorities eventually discovered that the man had died of a meth overdose before the predator ate him.