Authorities take 750-pound alligator from upstate New York home

Authorities removed a 750-pound alligator from a residence in upstate New York last week, officials announced Friday. 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wrote in a Facebook post that its officers seized a 750-pound alligator from an individual’s residence in Hamburg, New York on March 13. The department noted that the individual had a license for the alligator but that it had expired in 2021.

The department said the individual “built an addition to his house and installed an in-ground swimming pool for his roughly 30-year-old alligator, and allegedly allowed members of the public to get into the water to pet the unsecured alligator.” The department added that the alligator has “numerous health issues,” including blindness in two eyes and complications with its spine. 

“Authorities turned the alligator over to a licensed caretaker who will house and care for the animal until it can be properly transported for permanent care. Analysis of additional evidence seized during the warrant and consultation with a licensed veterinarian will determine any future potential charges,” the department wrote in the post. 

CNN affiliate WKBW reported that Tony Cavallaro is the owner of the alligator and that someone has started a petition on behalf of him to get his alligator, named Albert, back. According to the online petition, Cavallaro said that he hopes to regain custody of the alligator and said that the department changed the rules around the permits. 

“I’ve had him 34 years and abided by all of them and renewed my permit annually as required. I tried renewing it when they changed their rules and had questions to ask. They ignored my emails and phone calls to make sure I did everything right even though I should be grandfathered in. I will have a court date when they provide it,” he said, according to the petition. 

The department also said that it worked with the Town of Hamburg Police Department and The Erie County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to seize the gator.

The Hill has reached out to the department and Cavallaro for comment.

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