An 11-Foot, 750-Pound “Domesticated” Alligator (Who Swam With Children) Is Seized By Wildlife Officials In New York

Alligator removed from home

Many of us had pets growing up. Maybe it starts small with a fish, then you progress into either dog or cat territory. Seldom do you find a case of a man keeping a 34-year-old alligator as an animal companion who swims with visitors and children, but that’s the case here.

An 11-foot, 750-pound gigantic gator named Albert was taken from his home in Hamburg, New York, when the owner’s permit lapsed.

The Department of Environmental Conservation emailed the following statement to the New York Post:

“DEC determined the owner’s facility failed to meet specific conditions to ensure this dangerous animal did not come in contact with humans and did not pose a threat to humans or the animal… To be clear, even if the owner was appropriately licensed, public contact with the animal is prohibited and grounds for license revocation and relocation of the animal.”

As reported by the Post, Tony Cavallaro is the name of the owner, and he’s started a petition to get his beloved gator back that’s reached over 60,000 of a targeted 75,000 signatures. Cavallaro mentioned that he felt like he was being treated as a criminal when agents came to seize Albert. In the meantime, a temporary caretaker is looking after Albert, who has spinal issues and is blind in both eyes.

No matter how docile or gentle this alligator appears to be, you could never convince me to get in that swimming pool/homemade habitat without any sot of protective barrier. Even then, no thanks! Think about how big 11 feet is. Longer than the height of a basketball hoop by a full foot. And 750 pounds of gator? Why risk getting into the water with something that weighs quite literally four of me? I guess based on all the signatures and local support Cavallaro is getting, he must’ve had the situation under control.

Having Albert in his house since the early ’90s would help his case to keep him. However, it’s straight-up prohibited to have an alligator as a pet in New York. I don’t see how Cavallaro would be able to go to court and successfully argue that he can continue to care for Albert given that legal context.

While I do feel bad for our big guy Albert in the sense that he’s acclimated to that home environment for so long, he’s clearly struggling as is without the sense of sight and his spinal problems. Glad to hear he’s getting some medical attention amid this saga, and who knows, maybe Cavallro can visit him wherever his next home is.

Sounds like an uphill battle for the owner to get Albert back, though…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock