Authorities seize 750-pound alligator named Albert from New York home

An upstate New York man was forced to say “see you later, alligator” to his unusual pet after local authorities determined he was keeping the reptile illegally.

Environmental Conservation police officers seized the 11-foot, 750-pound pet alligator from a Hamburg home on Wednesday, according to a Facebook post from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Officers said “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,” the Facebook post said.

The behemoth is named Albert, according to a report from CNN affiliate WKBW.

“I’m Albert’s dad, that’s all there is to it,” his owner Tony Cavallaro told WKBW. “He’s like family to everybody.”

Cavallaro told WKBW his license to own Albert had expired in 2021 and he tried unsuccessfully to renew it with the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The department told WKBW, “Even if the owner was appropriately licensed, public contact with the animal is prohibited and grounds for license revocation and relocation of the animal.”

Environmental Conservation officers worked with local police as well as the Erie County SPCA to seize the gator, according to the Facebook post. The reptile is experiencing multiple health problems, including “blindness in both eyes and spinal complications,” the department said.

Albert is now being cared for by “a licensed caretaker” until he can “be properly transported for permanent care,” the department said.

“Analysis of additional evidence seized during the warrant and consultation with a licensed veterinarian will determine any future potential charges,” the department said in the post.

Owning any animal classified as a “dangerous animal” – including alligators – is illegal in New York unless the owner has a Dangerous Animal License from the Department of Environmental Conservation. The license requires owners to have “appropriate training, experience, and facilities with required safeguards” for each dangerous animal they own.

Hamburg is located in Erie County, New York, around 13 miles south of Buffalo.

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