Illegally owned 6-foot alligator removed from shipping container on property, officials say

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 2:51 PM CDT
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LAKEBAY, Wash. (Gray News) – Authorities in Washington state seized an alligator that was illegally being kept as a pet inside a shipping container.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, Pierce County Animal Control visited a Lakebay home after they received a complaint about a resident who allegedly had an alligator. Owning an alligator is illegal in the state.

Animal control officers said they revisited the property on Oct. 20 and found an alligator held in a tub inside of a shipping container. The team said the container also contained a sick baby cow.

According to the sheriff’s office, the container had a mattress the 32-year-old owner used to sleep with the animals.

Authorities said when they returned the following day with a warrant to seize the animals, the owner and the calf were gone.

The sheriff’s office shared a video of the alligator being loaded onto a truck by deputies and animal control officers. Officers measured the reptile and found it was about 6 feet, 7 inches long, and it took several people to lift it into the truck. The alligator’s snout was taped shut, and a towel was draped over its eyes for safety.

The sheriff’s office said the alligator was taken to Tacoma Humane Society, where crews found it in good health before transporting the alligator to a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary.