South Sound News

Seizure of 6-foot-plus gator living in tiny tub in Pierce County caught on camera

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — Pierce County deputies and animal control officers in the Lakebay area have seized an alligator that is more than six feet long. The operation was caught on camera.

Animal control had received a complaint about someone on a property possessing the reptile, but when animal control officers first investigated, the alligator was not found on the property.

It is illegal to possess alligators in Washington.

Animal control officers returned on Oct. 20, and saw that the 6-foot, 7-inch alligator was being kept inside a small tub inside a shipping container.

Also in the shipping container was a very ill calf and a mattress for the 32-year-old owner to sleep in the container with the animals.

The following day, deputies and animal control officers returned to the property armed with a search warrant to seize the alligator and check on the sick calf.

Though the calf and its owner were gone, the alligator remained.

Animal control officers got the reptile out of his tub and held him down while a deputy helped tape its mouth closed.

They then moved the reptile onto a large litter and placed it into the animal control truck.

The gator was taken to The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, where members of a wildlife rehabilitation sanctuary arrived to take custody of the reptile.

Deputies said the gator was in good health, but it will now live in a large habitat instead of being confined to a small container.

The sheriff’s department said it will be investigating to determine if the calf is in better condition.

Comments on this article