Texas woman illegally kept ‘pet’ alligator in backyard for 20 years

A Texas woman had been raising an alligator for over 20 years when Texas Parks and Wildlife had to take the scaly “pet” over the weekend. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife were investigating a separate case in Buda, outside of Austin, on Saturday, March 4 when they came across the unpermitted seven-foot alligator in the woman’s backyard, according to a CBS7 report.

“She did take it a little bit tough,” said game warden Joann Garza in the report. “But she does still have to follow all of the rules and regulations in the state.” The officials said the alligator is well and healthy, but too big for the space the woman provided to the gator and she did not have proper permits to keep the animal.

Texans are allowed to have alligators if they fall under farming, education, or zoological categories, according to the report.

The TPWD officials found out that the Buda woman kept the alligator as her own pet. She reportedly stole an alligator egg while she was volunteering at the New Braunfels Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo.

Jarrod Forthman with Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo told the news station that alligators nest around 50 to 60 eggs at a time, so it would be simple for one egg of new hatchling to go missing.

The alligator was returned to the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo, according to the report. It added that charges for stealing the egg are past the statute of limitations, but the woman does face nearly $1,000 in fines for illegally owning the alligator.

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