Alligators are found in the coastal wetlands of the American southeast, with the furthest north being in North Carolina. Alligators are not native to New York state, and probably wouldn't survive long in the wild due to the cold winters.

Some try to keep them as pets even though they are not legal to own. The New York DEC says that state law bans the import, possession, and sale of live alligators, caiman, and crocodiles, except for scientific or educational purposes.

New York Environmental Officials Seize Alligator With Numerous Health-Related Issues

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says that they successfully seized an 11-foot, 750-pound alligator that was being illegally kept at a residence in the Town of Hamburg.

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The DEC says that the the owner of the home had 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.

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The individual formerly possessed a DEC license for the alligator, but the license expired in 2021 and was not renewed. The DEC, along with the Town of Hamburg Police, and the SPCA Serving Erie County seized the alligator, which has "numerous health-related issues, including blindness in both eyes and spinal complications."

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.

The DEC says that charges could be pending, once the gator is examined by experts.

The DEC does allow something called Crocodilian permits, which are issued to an individual operating a retail establishment, store, or outlet.

See Also: New York State DEC Reminds Residents That The Snakes Are Coming

This permit authorizes the retail sale of finished parts and products made in whole, or in part, from Alligators, Caiman, and Crocodile of the Order Crocodylia, says the DEC's website.

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Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams