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The Valley's Alligator Problem: A New Abandoned One Discovered
It was already weird enough that an eight-foot alligator was discovered earlier this week in the backyard of a home in the Valley. But authorities found another one—this time a smaller guy—in a different backyard in the Valley on Thursday.
While we'd expect to see something like this in the Bayou, apparently these homeowners think keeping alligators in suburban neighborhoods is a good idea. However, this gator, that's 2 1/2-foot long, was found in a large aquarium in the back of a home located on the 15300 block of Lassen Street in Mission Hills, according to KTLA. The sad part is that L.A. animal control officers were only tipped off to this alligator's whereabouts because they received reports that this reptile was abandoned. Authorities are looking into finding and questioning the possible owner of the property.
On Monday, authorities seized an eight-foot alligator—who goes by the name of Jaxson—from the backyard of a Van Nuys home after getting a complaint from a neighbor, according to ABC News. Jaxson's owners, who say they see her as a family pet and have had her for 37 years, were saddened by the new development. Jaxson has since been placed in quarantine in the L.A. Zoo. When Department of Animal Services officers found Jaxson, they also discovered the bodies of two dead cats in the box she was living in, and some are accusing Jaxson of eating neighborhood pets for almost 40 years.
Laura Mattson, the owner of the alligator, begs to differ. She told ABC News: “I don't like the fact people are insinuating Jaxson ate cats in the neighborhood. She was perfectly docile."
It's illegal to own a wildlife animals—including alligators—without a permit. Mattson doesn't have a permit, and is expected to be cited for that as well as taking care of a wild animal without the right kind of care and maintenance. There's the possibility that she could be slapped with criminal charges as well.