A New York resident had to part with his pet - a 340-pound alligator (7 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 0+
22 May 2024

Tony Cavallaro of Hamburg, New York, had an alligator in his yard back in the 1990s. However, in March of this year, authorities decided to seize a 34-year-old blind pet named Albert. The man is having a hard time with the separation and assures that his pet is also experiencing mental pain.

“I know what he looks like when he’s happy, but it’s not like that anymore,” Tony said. “He looks lost and upset.

"I can see his emotions. Reptiles have just as much expression as humans, it's just not as noticeable because of the scales."

Albert lived in an enclosure that cost Cavallaro more than $120,000 to install. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) seized the animal after an anonymous tip that the breeder was allowing guests to swim with the reptile. Moreover, the license to keep the alligator expired in 2021.

From a news report, Tony learned that his pet was sent to Beaumont, Texas, to the Gator Country Adventure Park, where, as the man fears, Albert will be turned into a circus animal.

Cavallaro complained: "They're using him for profit. They're making money, it's just disgusting."

Gator Country bills itself as a sanctuary with over 450 rescued alligators. Environmental officials said Albert developed serious health conditions, such as spinal deformities, as a result of living in New York. He underwent extensive evaluation and rehabilitation in Massachusetts.

Gator Country said Albert was living in a basement pond with water that had not been changed in nearly 10 years.

But Cavallaro considers these statements to be lies.

"The animal's health improved significantly after several weeks of medical care, with appropriate diet and adequate ultraviolet radiation," DEC said.

The alligator is currently housed in a custom-made fenced enclosure, and the animal can be observed from afar.

Tony is thinking about going to Texas to visit his old friend.

"He'd see me, and then I'd have to leave, and that would upset him even more. I'd just go up to him and say, 'Hey, buddy.' I'd burst into tears. I'm sure of it. It'd be terrible. I'd see him and just I’ll go crazy. He’s such a friendly alligator,” the man said in a trembling voice.

Tony intends to return the pet and has sought legal help. His team will file a lawsuit for defamation, and will also find out whether DEC had the right to take Albert away, because Cavallaro tried to renew his license in 2021, but his appeals were ignored.

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