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Large alligator among numerous exotic animals seized from local home

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IDAHO FALLS — A large alligator and other exotic creatures were seized from a Bonneville County home this week after authorities received anonymous tips about the animals.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers found numerous reptiles at the house, according to IDFG spokesman James Brower. The owner did not have permits for the animals and voluntarily surrendered the seven-foot alligator, two caimans, two snapping turtles, two rubber boas and a Gila monster.

“We received some tips about the gentleman and he was very agreeable when we went to his house,” Brower says. “The reptiles had come across state lines and he wasn’t allowed to keep them in his home.”

The animals were in good condition with the 80-pound alligator being kept in a large enclosure in the garage. Officers had to strategize on how to remove the gator from the home as they rarely deal with these types of reptiles.

“We had several individuals there to help and consulted the state veterinarian to sedate the alligator,” Brower tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Reptiles, in general, metabolize things very slowly so we had to wait and see if the animal calmed down. He was never comatose or unconscious and was actually pretty lively. We then lifted him over the enclosure and moved him out.”

All of the animals were relocated to facilities that are legally able to care for them, according to Brower. The owner was “very cooperative” with officers and was given a formal warning.

Brower doesn’t recall The Idaho Department of Fish and Game responding to a call involving an alligator in eastern Idaho for at least ten years. He hopes to use this experience to educate others looking to bring home exotic creatures.

“If you get an animal from a pet store, it’s most likely legal and fine. But if you’re trying to purchase some exotic species from out of state, online or a private seller and it’s questionable, call us and we will let you know what permitting is required,” Brower says.

More information can be found on the IDFG website here.

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